The UFC 126 fight between Jon Jones and Ryan Bader was much-anticipated, since it featured two up-and-comers in the stacked UFC light heavyweight division. However, this fight ended up being all Jones, as he took it to Bader right out of the gates.
The first round saw Jones take Bader down fairly easily and control him for much of the time. Jones kept trying to cinch in a d’arce choke from the north-south position and even looked like he had it at one time. However, Bader was able to defend nicely and show good patience on his back. That was only foreshadowing for what was to come later in the fight though.
The second round saw both guys spend time on the feet. Jones used his long reach advantage to land a couple of solid punches. However, Bader was able to land a couple of solid punches of his own. Bader appeared to be tire a bit, probably from defending himself on the ground in the first round. Jones was able to take Bader down again and finally lock in the guillotine choke that forced Bader to tap at 4:20 of round 2.
It was a fairly one-sided fight and resulted in Jones earning a title shot against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua later this year at UFC 128. Rua’s original opponent and Jones’ teammate, Rashad Evans, had to pull out of the fight due to a knee injury.