The most freakish talent to ever hit MMA gets his first title shot this Saturday night. Al Dannity likes Jon Bones Jones to walk away with the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
This could be explosive Mauricio Shogun Rua is in an unusual place for a man with a belt. The UFC Light Heavyweight Champion enters his contest with Jon Bones Jones as a big underdog. Shogun won the title last year in devastating style, with a first round stoppage of Lyoto Machida. Having been on the shelf due to injury, it’s taken over a year for the champion to make his first title defense. Once Rashad Evans pulled out of this pay per view, Jon Bones Jones was only too happy to take his title shot. A defeat of Ryan Bader at UFC 126 secured a spot opposite Shogun in the octagon. Now the question is, can this young man raise his game against a true MMA legend?
History says he can’t. Georges St. Pierre failed in his first title shot and he was the same age, 23, that Jones is now. The big difference in this fight however is the unique style Jones brings with him. The challenger’s reach isn’t just freakish, it allows him to risk moves that fighters of a more conventional body type could never try. Much like former Boxing champion Lennox Lewis did with his jab, Jones has found a way to make his fundamental striking and grappling into more than just conventional forms of attack.
It really is a pity the UFC buyout of Strikeforce hasn’t seen Gus Johnson get teamed with Joe Rogan on commentary. Shogun and Jones fighters will come out aggressive and only the unique flair of Johnson’s voice would do them justice. Shogun will pose questions of the challenger but they will be answered decisively. Bet on Jon Bones Jones to win as -189 favorite with Sports Interaction.
Last chance for Cro Cop Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic is one of the all-time greats in MMA but his best years clearly look to be behind him. Cro Cop is a mediocre 3-2 since returning to UFC in 2009, most recently losing to Frank Mir by KO at UFC 119. On Saturday he faces Brendan Schaub, who defeated Gabriel Gonzaga on points at UFC 121. Cro Cop is a big step up for Schaub but this is not the fighter that dominated in PRIDE. Look for Schaub to add another name to his resume before hopefully being matched up against another young up and comer like Stefan Struve. Bet on Brendan Schaub as -312 favorite with Sports Interaction.