Jon Jones will attempt to defend his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light heavyweight title for the fourth time in one year on Sept. 1, 2012, at UFC 151 in Las Vegas, Nevada, as he takes on former Strikeforce and Pride FC champion Dan Henderson.
After winning the title from Mauricio Rua back in March 2011, "Bones" has gone on a tear, ripping through the elite 205-pound class. What has been even more impressive, he has made it look easy, rarely suffering any damage. Throughout his UFC career, Jones has seemingly yet to be rocked or staggered on the feet and has yet to be taken down inside the Octagon.
The challenges, however, will only get harder as "Hendo" is one of the most experienced fighters that the young and talented fighter will face to date. With his top-notch wrestling pedigree to go along with one of the most power right hands the sport has ever seen, Henderson truly has the best of both worlds in his arsenal.
And he knows how to use them both ... very well.
So which is more of a concern for the young champion, getting tagged with a powerful "H-Bomb" or getting taken down by the Olympic-level wrestler?
Jones recently spoke to MMAmania.com and told us what he feels is "Hendo's" most powerful tool at this stage of his career:
"I think more his striking than his wrestling. With each bout, he has been using his striking more. He throws those "H-Bombs" and they are like heat-seeking missiles. Dan is a great wrestler, as well, and has been wrestling along time. I wrestled last about 5 years ago in college and I don't enjoy wrestling as much as I used to. Dan is older and has been doing it more, but it seems like as he has gotten older, he has focused more on his striking. So, I think his striking is more of a concern than his wrestling."
With 14 years of experience under his belt, Henderson has achieved legendary status in mixed martial arts (MMA), thanks in large part to his success in the now-defunct Pride FC organization where he won the Middleweight and Welterweight titles. He then won the Strikeforce 205-pound title, yet, the one title that has eluded him has been the coveted UFC strap, falling short in his previous two attempts at UFC 75 against Quinton Jackson and UFC 82 where he lost to Anderson Silva.
Jones, on the other hand, is rapidly building his stellar career as one of the most dominant champions the sport has ever seen and will eventually reach the legendary status that ‘Hendo" currently enjoys. For Jones, a win over the 41-year-old fighter will definitely be another crowning achievement in his already impressive resume. A win for Henderson, meanwhile, will give him the "Great White Whale" that always seemed to elude him.
How about it Maniacs, can Henderson be the first too truly rock the young champion with one of his powerful "H-Bombs" or be the first to take down Jones inside the Octagon? Or will Jones' own legend rise even further in "Sin City" as he closes in on the record that Tito Ortiz currently holds with five consecutive title defenses at 205-pounds?