Photo by Josh Hedges via Getty Images
Well they say you aren't truly a champion until you defend your title.
This wasn't the out of shape movie star "Rampage" either. This was Jackson at his absolute best after training for two-plus months exclusively in elevation.
And he didn't stand a chance.
So how did Jones mystify the heavy-hitting UFC and Pride veteran and stop Jackson for the first time in his UFC career? The answer lies inside.
Jones baffled Jackson early, pressing him against the fence and pounding on him with short knees. After they separated, he really utilized his range to absolute perfection, blasting the former champion with jabs, front kicks and side kicks.
"Bones" particularly attacked Jackson's legs, nailing him with leg kicks and kicks to the front of the knee, which may have put some fear into "Rampage." Jackson repeatedly looked frustrated, even voicing his displeasure to the referee and losing his focus on the task at hand.
Because the Greg Jackson-trained champion was able to utilize his reach so well, it made nearly all of Jackson's attacks look sloppy and wild.
Notice here in the third round how Jackson is so far away that his huge looping hook completely falls short and out of frustration he dives forward with a 1-2 hook combination that is so wild and aggressive that he crashes into the fence.
Jones' distance gave him more than enough notice to duck and spin out of the way of an incredibly heavy attack that may have hurt someone with a lesser reach.
If the Wolfslair fighter did anything well, it was his takedown defense. He was able to pummel under and sprawl very effectively in the first three rounds and the one time he was taken down, he scrambled free from a dangerous position in which Jones had him in full mount.
Even Jackson's vaunted takedown defense betrayed him in round four when Jones wrapped up his neck and basically leveraged him to the canvas with brute force.
When Jackson attempted to scramble to his feet, Jones took his back and baited him badly with his right arm. Watch how he keeps his right arm threaded under Jackson's right armpit. As "Rampage's" attention is focused on that arm, Jones stealthily slips his left arm under Jackson's exposed neck.
Jones quickly puts his second hook in and rolls Jackson over.
When he tightens the choke with the palm-to-palm grip, Jackson is forced to tap or risk going unconcious in front of millions of people.
For Quinton Jackson, there's not much to say about this performance. He showed up in terrific shape but he could never get comfortable against Jones. He had to worry about takedowns with every strike he threw all-the-while getting punched and kicked in the face as well as absorbing leg and knee kicks. He never once got in the proper range to land his powerful counter left hook and the story of the fight could be told on Jon Jones' unblemished face.
"Rampage" called out Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, the former UFC champion and a man who had previously been the last fighter to stop Jackson back in Pride. That would be an interesting fight, but Rua has to face Dan Henderson first. The only way that fight gets made is if Rua loses to Henderson.
If the UFC really hates Forrest Griffin right now, that's another fight that could be a possibility. Jackson has campaigned for a rematch with Griffin in the past. If Joe Silva wants to get creative with his matchmaking and if Strikeforce is dead at the beginning of 2012, perhaps they could book a fight against another hated rival, Muhammed Lawal.
For Jon Jones, that was a performance that was near perfection. He utilized his range perhaps better than any fighter has ever done. He kept Jackson at bay with a vast array of kicks and his tremendously long jab. Even when he came inside with aggressive power strikes or elbow attacks, "Bones" would immediately clinch to avoid staying inside Jackson's range. He never gave the former champion an opportunity to be effective.
Up next for the champion will be his former teammate and current rival "Suga" Rashad Evans, who has twice now stared Jones down after his title victories. Evans earned his title shot with a dominant stoppage of Tito Ortiz at UFC 133 this past August and Jones is not happy with him, stating he's "ruined his night" on both occasions that he's celebrated his title fight victories.
The build-up to that fight should be incredible.
So what do you think Maniacs?
Were you impressed by the clinic Jon Jones put on the former UFC light heavyweight champion? Was there anything "Rampage" could have done differently to create a different outcome?
All gifs by Zombie Prophet via IronForgesIron.com.