There was a time in the not-too-distant past when mixed martial arts (MMA) fans were still trying to figure out if Jon Jones was for real.
Sure, "Bones" had blown away most of the 205-pounders clogging up the mid-card, but heading into his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title fight against Mauricio Rua, which took place in the main event of UFC 128 back on March 19, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey, his biggest win to date was over fellow up-and-comer Ryan Bader.
"Darth" was The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 8 champion, but not a top five light heavyweight.
Jones was the benefactor of an untimely knee injury suffered by former training partner Rashad Evans, who was forced to withdraw from his "Shogun" showdown when Diego Sanchez came crashing down into his unsuspecting knee during practice.
Despite his lack of big-game experience, Jones still opened at -155.
It may as well have been -1550, based on the way he dismantled the former PRIDE star en route to a lopsided technical knockout win, capturing the Brazilian's light heavyweight title in the process. But it wasn't the only thing he captured that night in "The Garden State."
"Bones" was also a bona fide crime fighter.
Earlier in the day, the lanky-but-lethal title contender was heading to a nearby park in Paterson to get some fresh air and meditate, one of his standard pre-fight rituals since aligning himself with Greg Jackson in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
They pulled up just in time to see a "crackhead" breaking into some old bag's car and when the perpetrator took off with her GPS in hand, they sprung into action.
"So while we were at the park today a crack head smashed this old lady's car window and took off running with her gps just as we were pulling up. ... right away....Coach Wink goes after this guy. Without hesitation, Coach Jackson went after him...I was shocked and stood there for a second ... then I threw my phone down and went with my coaches. Before you know it, we're sprinting up a steep hill chasing after him. ... I turned the jets on....we caught the guy. We got the lady's gps back. ... It feels so good to help others. It gives me power and energy. ... Coach Jackson is a hero! ... I caught him....Coach Jackson finished him. ... #crackheadshavenocardio"
Hear him recount the harrowing tale right here.
Like the unidentified crackhead (see a pic here), "Shogun" didn't stand much of a chance against Jones. Neither did the next four challengers to his newly-won light heavyweight strap, despite the fact that all four were also former division champions.
Of the bunch, only Evans was able to go the distance, but still came up empty on all three scorecards after 25 minutes of action.
Where the rest failed, Chael Sonnen hopes to succeed. But to do it, he'll have to defeat Jones in the main event of UFC 159 this Saturday night (April 27, 2013) at the Prudential Center in Newark, the same place "Bones" made history against Rua just over two years ago.
Expect local crackheads to take the night off.