February 7, 2011
UFC confirms Rua-Jones for 128
By QMI Agency
Jon Jones will get his title shot against Mauricio Rua at UFC 128 in Newark, N.J., next month.
Jones, who posted an impressive second-round submission win over previously-unbeaten Ryan Bader Saturday in Las Vegas, will replace injured Rashad Evans in the main event against light-heavyweight champion Rua March 19 at the Prudential Centre, the UFC confirmed Monday. It will be the first title fight for 23-year-old Jones, one of the UFC's fastest-rising stars.
"My goal is to be considered the best light-heavyweight fighter in the world," Jones, who boasts a record 12-1, said. "I feel as if it's my time. My confidence is already high, I'm already in shape and I have six weeks to make myself even better. I can't wait for this opportunity."
Evans was scheduled to face Rua before spraining his MCL in a recent training accident. In a strange twist, Evans had avoided fighting while he waited for Rua to recover from knee surgery in the hopes of winning back the belt he once held.
After Jones dismantled Bader, who was 12-0 going into their fight, Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Event Centre, UFC president Dana White intimated that the New York native would replace Evans at UFC 128.
The change of opponent doesm't seem to bother 29-year-old Rua, who has a record of 19-4.
"I've been training hard for a fight on this date and I was prepared to fight Rashad," Rua said. "I face this new challenge as motivation to train even harder. I'm a fighter and I don't pick opponents. I'll be ready for Jon Jones."
Former WEC champions Urijah Faber and Eddie Wineland will also meet at UFC 128. Faber held the WEC featherwight title for more than two years while Wineland held the WEC bantamweight title.