TORONTO -- Jon Jones will try to solidify himself as a legitimate title contender when he faces Vladimir Matyushenko in UFC Live 2 on August 1st from the San Diego Sports Arena in California.
'Bones', a six-foot-four college wrestling champion, has been demolishing opponent after opponent during his short mixed martial arts career, with his only loss coming via disqualification (illegal elbows) in December 2009 against Matt Hamill.
The 23-year-old light heavyweight crushed Brandon Vera in the first round of his last bout and was awarded with the knockout of the night honours.
Jones (10-1) trains with top mixed martial artists Georges St. Pierre, Rashad Evans, and Shane Carwin at Jackson's Submission Fighting in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The young fighter joined the training camp a little more than a year ago and if it was difficult to beat him before, it will be almost impossible now.
According to Sherdog.com, fighters from Greg Jackson's camp have a win percentage of 80%.
Over the past five years, the UFC Light Heavyweight belt has been around the waist of six different fighters, making the division one of the strongest in the world of mixed martial arts.
A win in San Diego would put Jones in the mix and only one or two fights away from a shot at the title.
However, 'Bones' can't commit the mistake of thinking about the future right now, because the present is in front of him. In this particular case, his present is called Vladimir Matyushenko.
Matyushenko, a veteran wrestler with more than 10 years experience in MMA, has not lost since January 2009, and stopping Jones on Sunday is his next objective.
The 39-year-old Belarusian might be slower and not as athletic as his rival, but has 17 more fights than Jones and that experience is Matyushenko's secret weapon.
'The Janitor' has nothing to lose and will be waiting for one mistake from his opponent to capitalize and upset the favorite.
Matyushenko is known for taking his fights to the ground and utilizing his wrestling skills to dictate the course of the bout.
Jones, on the other hand, hasn't often gone to the ground and needs to be ready to fight off his back if he wants to win, since 'The Janitor' will try to take him to the mat and test his ability from down there.
The event will be broadcast live on Versus TV (USA) and Sportsnet (Canada) at 9pm ET.
Other fights in the main card are:
Middleweight: Mark Munoz vs. Yushin Okami
Welterweight: John Howard vs. Jake Ellenberger
Lightweight: Tyson Griffin vs. Takanori Gomi