UFC 126: Jon Jones Submits Ryan Bader, Earns Surprise Title Shot Against ‘Shogun’ Rua

February 5, 2011

Jon Jones earned his 12th career win as he defeated fellow up-and-comer, Ryan Bader, by submission in the second round of their UFC 126 match-up. Jones was able to make his presence known, stuffing all of Bader’s takedown attempts en route to a win by guillotine choke at 4:20 of the round.

In addition, Jones, to his surprise, was told during his post fight interview with Joe Rogan that Rashad Evans has blown his knee out and the UFC is offering him a title shot against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in March.

Bader and Jones entered the Octagon with excitement felt from the crowd. Jones, who had a near 10-inch reach advantage, looked calm and relaxed as he shot in for a takedown, putting Bader on his back and landing in side control. Jones looked as though he had a North-South choke that put Bader in trouble, but he released it and returned to side control. The fight then went back to the feet as Bader initiated getting to that position. Jones landed a nice left high kick, which was followed up by a Bader takedown attempt.

The shot was stuffed by Jones and the two ended up on the ground with Jones working from the top. A scramble to the feet led to Bader falling underneath Jones again, where he ate several elbows. The round ended with Jones controlling the majority of the opening stanza.

The second round started with Jones controlling the center of the Octagon. A nice left hook by Jones found its mark on Bader. Later, Jones attempted a flying head kick, but missed the target. Bader threw a massive right hand that Jones was able to avoid. Had it landed, that might have changed the flow of the match-up. A few low kicks by Jones found their targets, digging deep into Bader’s outside thigh. At just over a minute to go, Bader attempted pulling guard, and this was the beginning of the end. Jones was able to lock in a straight guillotine, forcing Bader to tap.

The win was obviously a big one for Jones, as it earned him a shot a Rua’s light heavyweight belt. Rogan stood with Jones after the fight and talked to him about the victory.

“I feel so confident every time I come in here,” Jones said following the win. “I feel as if it’s my time and I’m hungry and I’m going for it. I want it.”

Rogan then made the surprise offer to Jones to face champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 128 in March.

“Here’s the situation: Rashad Evans was scheduled to face Shogun for the title, Rashad Evans is injured he blew out his knee. The UFC wants to give you the opportunity against Shogun Rua for the light heavyweight championship of the world,” said Rogan.

Despite the quick turn around, Jones was ecstatic about his opportunity for a title. When asked about how he feels about getting the shot at UFC gold, Jones was thankful and made an impact statement when he said, “I’m going for a world title, baby! Lets do it!”

The champion, Rua, entered the Octagon after the surprise announcement and accepted the challenge of taming the young “Bones” Jones.

“Jon Jones is a great (fighter) and I respect him,” he said. “I’m a professional fighter and I’ll fight anyone.”