This Saturday night, Jon "Bones" Jones has the opportunity to live up to his hype when he takes on Mauricio "Shogun" Rua for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. It's the biggest challenge of the 23-year-old fighter's young career, but don't count Jones out. Here's four reasons why "Bones" may walk out of UFC 128 with the title around his waist.
Due to a knee injury during his title win against Lyoto Machida and some postponed fights, Shogun has spent much of the last year out of the Octagon. In fact, his last fight was in May of 2010. Meanwhile, Jones has had two major bouts in that time period, including an awesome submission victory over Ryan Bader.
The majority of Shogun's wins have come from kicking and punching his opponents into dreamland, but "Bones" won't be intimidated by Rua's stand-up. If things go to the ground, Jones will have the advantage thanks to his excellent wrestling skills. Rewatch his dominant performance over Stephan Bonnar from 2009 to see how powerful he can be.
Much has been written about Jones' incredibly long limbs. That's because the 23-year-old's 84.5" reach is the longest in UFC history. Not only can "Bones" hit from far across the cage, but he can hit hard. His impressive TKO victories over Vladimir Matyushenko and Brandon Vera proved this.
In the eyes of many, Jon "Bones" Jones was the breakout UFC star of 2010. Both Dana White and the fans love the young fighter because he's fun to watch and he finishes his fights — things rarely go to the judges when "Bones" is on his game. It's no wonder why Las Vegas oddsmakers have Jones as a 2-to-1 favorite. A championship victory is exactly what's needed to make the New York-native one of the faces of UFC and he doesn't plan on blowing it.