Jon Jones’ 2011 will go down as one of the greatest years that any MMA fighter has achieved. He started out by submitting the then-undefeated Ryan Bader at UFC 126, at which point he accepted a short-notice title fight vs. Mauricio Rua at UFC 128 when Rashad Evans pulled out with an injury. Jones systematically destroyed Shogun to become the youngest champion in UFC history.
Jones’ 3rd of 4 fights that year would be his first defense of the light heavyweight title. On September 24th, 2011 in Denver, Colorado, UFC 135 would feature a main event of Jones against Rampage Jackson. The plan was for Jones vs. Evans to happen at UFC 133, but Jones ending up facing Rampage, while Evans would take on Tito Ortiz (in for the injured Phil Davis). Rampage had defeated Matt Hamill at UFC 130, thus creating the Rampage > Hamill > Jones MMAth.
The fight wasn’t a start-to-finish beatdown like Jones vs. Shogun was, but Rampage definitely wasn’t anywhere close to winning this one. Jones hurt Jackson with a left hook to start round 4, took him down, took his back, and submitted him with a rear-naked choke. To this day, it’s the only time Rampage has been stopped in the last 10 years. Sakuraba is the only other guy to submit Jackson, and that happened in 2001.
Watch the full fight video for yourself at the top of the page.
Here’s Brent Brookhouse’s play-by-play of the ending:
Round 4 – Rampage is coming out a bit more aggressive. Left hook by Jones seems to hurt Rampage. Jones looking for the takedown from the clinch and he gets it now against the cage. Elbow by Jones. Jones moves to the back and gets the choke locked in. Rampage taps out and that’s it. Jon Jones wins by submission (rear naked choke), round 4. Dominant performance by Jones and Rampage never had anything close to an answer.
Plus the Bloody Elbow community’s reaction to the finish:
That “we need Machida” comment was granted, as Lyoto Machida did fight Jon Jones at UFC 140, but ended up being choked completely unconscious. Rashad Evans didn’t stop Jones, but he did go the distance with him at UFC 145. From there, Jon Jones ruined UFC 151, ruined the sport, and that’s why MMA doesn’t exist anymore.
Jones fights Ovince Saint Preux for the interim UFC LHW title in the UFC 197 main event on Saturday, April 23rd in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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