Nearly three years ago today, Jon Jones (17-1) defeated Stephan Bonnar (15-8) at UFC 94. After Jones was awarded the decision win from the 2009 card, he has gone on to dominate the light heavyweight division. It was that fight that Jones credits as the one that made him who he is today.
“I realized things were going great right away when I beat Stephan Bonnar,” Jones said to Bleacher Report. “Stephan is a guy who had a big name in the sport and was highly respected. I was a nobody going into that fight. For me to beat him showed me there was something different going on, and upsetting a fighter who was beyond me in that moment was special.”
After the Bonnar fight, Jones has been nearly unstoppable with only one blemish on his record, a controversial disqualification loss to Matt Hamill (11-4) in late 2009. Jones was surprised with being awarded a championship fight after former training partner Rashad Evans (17-2-1) was unable to compete at UFC 128 in 2011. After Jones defeated Mauricio “Shogun” Rua to win the title, he has successfully defended his title four times, all against former champions.
Bonnar retired this year after suffering a first round loss to Anderson Silva (33-4) at UFC 153.
Jones returns to action in April, where he looks for a recording tying fifth light heavyweight title defense. He takes on Chael Sonnen (27-12-1), who is coaching opposite of him on The Ultimate Fighter, on April 27, 2013.