In a span of three years, "Bones" has reeled off eight-straight victories inside the Octagon, tying him with former champion Lyoto Machida for the most consecutive wins by any fighter in the weight class. He has also captured the division's belt to become the youngest champion in UFC history and has already defended his title four times against elite competition.
At UFC 159 tomorrow night (April 27, 2013) in Newark, N.J., Jones will attempt to tie UFC Hall-of-Famer Tito Ortiz's record for consecutive title defenses at five when he takes on Chael Sonnen in the main event from the Prudential Center.
Ortiz's record has stood on it's own since Nov. 2002 - a span of well over a decade. Legendary UFC champion Chuck Liddell came close to matching the record with four defenses, but no one has ever had as realistic a chance as Jones does on Saturday.
With a place in history just one win away, Jones reflected on how his reign compares to that of Ortiz at Thursday's (April 25, 2013) UFC 159 media day at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
His words to ESPN:
"I don't want to offend Tito [Ortiz]. I think Tito what he did in his time was awesome. But we're fighting in different generations, you know? He could make the argument to say he fought the guys that I've fought in their primes, and I could have the argument to say I just fought way more bad, tough dudes than he did. But there's an argument on both sides. He fought in the era where there was Tito, Chuck [Liddell] and Randy [Couture], and, you know, he only knew how to wrestle and box and he made it work and was the dominator."
Each man's reign was and is impressive for it's own reasons, but it's hard to argue the level of talent in mixed martial arts (MMA) has grown significantly over the last 10 years.
Ortiz's title defenses against Yuki Kondo, Evan Tanner, Elvis Sinosic, Vladimir Matyushenko and Ken Shamrock may not have the same ring as names such as Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans and Vitor Belfort, but Jones knows how tough "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" had it.
Jones is humble when comparing his title reign to Ortiz, especially because he knows without a win over Sonnen -- the comparison means nothing and Ortiz will still hold the record.
"To his credit he was great in his time, but to my credit I've fought some pretty bad dudes back-to-back-to-back. I've still got one more win to tie him so I'm not going to speak ahead of myself."
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the UFC 159 main card action on fight night (Sat., April 27, 2013), which is slated to begin promptly at 10 p.m. ET on PPV. The latest fight-by-fight updates of the live action will begin to flow earlier than that around 6 p.m. ET with the "Prelims" bouts on Facebook and FX Channel.
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