Jon Jones, for the most part, has blitzed through the light heavyweight division, defeating former world champions Mauricio Rua, Quinton Jackson and Rashad Evans with relative ease.
But on Sept. 21, 2013, "Bones" ran into the toughest test of his dominant title run when he met Alexander Gustafsson in the center of the cage at UFC 165 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
After five grueling, back-and-forth rounds, Jones earned the unanimous decision victory -- one which many disagreed with -- to retain his 205-pound title. Though he proved to be the victor, the "Fight of the Year" battle against "The Mauler" humbled the champ.
Something that isn't necessarily a good thing for his future opponents. In fact, it could be a downright "scary" thing for them. "Bones" broke it down to "Lavar and Duke's" 106.7 radio show (via MMA Fighting):
"My last fight I had a really tough fight. I just won by decision. I just squeaked out a victory. I've been humbled. It's an empowering thing. It's a scary thing for [my opponents]. Now I'm taking my job more seriously than ever."
Jones is booked to face Glover Teixeira at UFC 172 on April 26, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Should he walk out the winner and Gustafsson do the same against Jimi Manuwa at UFC Fight Night 37 on March 8, 2014, a rematch between the towering light feavyweights is expected for later this year.
While Jones isn't one to overlook his foes, he does anticipate an eventual showdown against Daniel Cormier, as well. And though the two have a bitter rivalry, "Bones" says he doesn't necessarily like "DC," but he does respect him.
"I really don't like [Cormier] too much, but right now he's coming across as being good for the sport. He's a really articulate guy. He's doing a lot of broadcasting and commentary. He's a winner and an Olympian. So even though I don't like him, I do respect what he's doing for our sport."
With an impressive resume already in place, one which includes a record six title defenses in the 205-pound division, Jones -- at the age of 26 -- is already building quite a legacy for himself in mixed martial arts (MMA).
And as he looks ahead to his next potential opponents, can he extend his title defenses to nine -- and beyond -- now that he's more focused than ever?