Top 5 Performances of Jon Jones’ Career

Jon Jones' Top 5 Performances

jon jones, ufc champion
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Since entering into the Octagon against Andre Gusmao at UFC 87 in 2008, Jon Jones’ UFC career has been one extended highlight reel. From capturing the title to defending it successfully a record 6 times, Jones has looked dominant against virtually every opponent he has faced, and is still the youngest fighter to capture UFC gold at only 23. Here are the champ's 5 most impressive performances of his still young career.

#5 Jon Jones vs Stephan Bonner UFC 94

jon jones, ufc champion
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

#5 Jon Jones vs Stephan Bonner UFC 94

jon
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into his bout against Stephan Bonner, few fans were giving the 21-year-old prospect a chance, but Jones proved the critics wrong putting on a clinic against the Ultimate Fighter Season 1 alum. Jones ragged dolled the future UFC Hall-of-Famer with technical throws and trips from the clinch and even introduced fans to his now famous spinning-back-elbow, dropping Bonner with it the second round, and signifying his arrival.

#4 Jon Jones vs Brandon Vera UFC Live: Jones vs Vera

jon jones, ufc champion
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

#4 Jon Jones vs Brandon Vera UFC Live: Jones vs Vera

jon jones, ufc champion
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Jones had looked nothing but impressive coming into his fight against Vera, and while many had him pegged as future star in the division, others remained unconvinced that he was ready for the jump up in competition. Jones squashed these doubts early in the first round. From top position, Jones landed a vicious elbow that broke Brandon Vera’s jaw, ending the fight and silencing even more nay-sayers of the talent of “Bones.”

#3 Jon Jones vs Lyoto Machida UFC 140

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Photo via Lyoto Machida Facebook Page

#3 Jon Jones vs Lyoto Machida UFC 140

jon jones, lyoto machida, ufc
Photo via Lyoto Machida Facebook Page

Up to this point in his career Jon Jones had remained essentially untested, blowing through every fighter the UFC placed in front of him en route to a light heavyweight championship, but Lyoto Machida made him work for it. The Karate fighter flustered Jones in the first round with his speed and movement, but Jones would come back to dominate in the second, famously choking out Machida against the cage and dropping him like a sack of potatoes.

#2 Jon Jones vs Mauricio “Shogun” Rua UFC 128

jon jones, shogun rua, ufc
Photo via Jon Jones Facebook Page

#2 Jon Jones vs Mauricio “Shogun” Rua UFC 128

jon jones, shogun rua, ufc
Photo via Jon Jones Facebook Page

This fight represented the changing of the guard. At his peak in Pride, Shogun Rua was the best fighter in the world we had seen at 205 pounds, but Jon Jones rewrote the history books. Jones entered the cage the underdog against the MMA legend, but he also entered with no respect for the champion as he battered and outclassed Shogun until finally finishing the one-sided affair in the third round, becoming the youngest champion in UFC history.

#1 Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson UFC 165

jon jones, alexander gustafsson, ufc
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

#1 Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson UFC 165

jon jones, alexander gustafsson, ufc
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Jones’ fight against Alexander Gustafsson was by no means his most dominant, but this fight showed that the dynamic Jones has a champion’s mettle to complement his physical gifts. The champ was outboxed and even taken down in the early going by Gustafsson, but Jones rallied back to hurt the challenger and take control of the fight late. Jones should never have to answer questions about his heart or chin after this fight.

Graham Jones is an MMA writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @graymatter91, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google


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