Is Jon "Bones" Jones really ready for the experience and technique of Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (above)? We will find out on March 19 at UFC 128.

There is a large number of MMA fans and pundits picking Jon “Bones” Jones (12-1) to defeat UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (19-4) in their upcoming UFC 128 title fight on March 19.

Many believe the ease in which the 23-year-old Jones has handled recent opponents such as Brandon Vera, Vladimir Matyushenko, and most recently, Ryan Bader, proves he is not only deserving of a title shot, but he will be too much for “Shogun”.

Even the odds-makers have Jones the favorite at -225 and Rua at +185.

There is one person who is not riding the Jon Jones hype train all the way to the title though, and that is former light heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida (16-2), the last person to defeat Rua.

Rua took Machida’s title with a first round knockout in May of last year at UFC 113. Just six months earlier Machida had gone five full rounds with Rua, winning a highly controversial unanimous decision.

He has stood across the cage and battled “Shogun” Rua toe-to-toe for nearly 30-minutes total, and he is not convinced the young superstar Jones is ready for this level, not yet.

Machida explained during an interview with Tatame:

“When you enter the cage, specially against a guy like Jones, of course he can win, but I believe Shogun is more prepared and plays harder. Technically, he’s more complete than Jon Jones. He has a good ground game, he’s a good striker, he knows everything. Everybody’s looking at Jon Jones’ side, who’s a young guy, but I don’t agree. He just seems to have an advantage because of his conditioning. Shogun is also young and has conditions to do a great fight. Shogun is more likely to win then Jon Jones.”

Machida believes Jones may have better conditioning than “Shogun” but feels “Shogun” is technically the more complete fighter. Both of those statements are probably true.

He also reminds us that “Shogun” has a good ground game, and that is true. He is a BJJ black belt and could be a danger off his back. The only thing is, he has only ever submitted one person, and that was Kevin Randleman via kneebar back in 2006.

So, what do you think, is “Shogun” really more likely to win, as Machida believes, or is Jon Jones going to run through the champion like he has everyone else lately? Or will Jones truly get tested by the leg kicks and Muay Thai of “Shogun, or maybe even submitted”?

13 thoughts on “Lyoto Machida picks “Shogun” Rua to beat Jon Jones at UFC 128”
  1. Jones by TKO. The stoppage will come when Jones decides he wants to end it. Shogun will be outworked by a more complete fighter (technically, athletically, physically).
    BJJ black belt doesn’t carry the same weight anymore. As does All-American wrestler. The same could be said in any specific discipline. Jones has done a better job of combining the disciplines with his physical gifts.

  2. I think Shogun answered the question about his conditioning in the first fight with Machida…went the full 25 mins…now conditioning could be an issue with him having knee issues again…I think the threat of take-downs will nullify a lot of Rua’s kicking game…Jones is just an animal on the ground…very aggressive with GnP…Rua is great at sweeps from his back though…this is going to be a great fight.

  3. Jones is a freight train right now. He is an athletic freak who has the ability to learn at an unbelievable rate. He will dominate Shogun just as he has all his opponents. He has out wrestled wrestlers like Bader, Matyushenko, and Hammil. He has out struck strikers like Bonner and Vera. Shogun is much more experienced, but that is his only advantage in this match up. Jones has the ability to learn and adapt during a fight. We MAY be looking at the best ever people. “No joke Jones”

  4. Shogun is a great strategist, i think he may prove top wily for Jones…but Jones’ size could very well prove Shogun’s downfall. How any of the 205lb’ers deal with it will be very interesting.

    WAR Rua!

  5. I expect Shogun to OWN Jon Jones! Jones has a chance against Shogun of course. But I see NO realistic chance for
    him to even survive against Shogun. Time tells the tale…

    To me, all of these Jones believers are Crack-heads – who have no fighting judgement skills.

    I expect Shogun to destroy Jones that same way he destroyed Rampage. Shogun will completely dominate Jones on the ground too.

    Prediction: Shogun by KO or TKO in Round 1 or 2

  6. LOL!! Damn straight, dude. Jon “Bones” Jones has been spoon-fed throughout his entire career in the UFC. It’s quite comical how people present names such as “Matyushenko, Bonner and Hammil” as “evidence” of Bones’ unrivaled, uber-godly skill. Bader, in my humble opinion, is the only victory for Jones that is worth a damn. I was irate that this kid, who’s balls have barely had time to drop, is fighting for the championship? After tearing through the proverbial bowels of the LHW division? Please. Kid’s got talent but he is far from being what the fans make him out to be. WAR RUA!!! I fear for his return off ANOTHER incident with that damn knee of his, but I expect him to emerge into the octagon in much better condition than he did against Forrest. THERE WILL BE NO UPSET!!!!!

  7. Like lyoto machida said…experience goes to shogun for sure, and it does play a part if you ever fought somebody with experience on you. Stand up i give to shogun also becuase of his kicks, unbelieveable chin, and boxing skill. I think people are giving jon jones too much credit on the cardio part though, he was gassed in the bonnar fight and took some nice uppercuts… BONES does crazy moves that drain alot of his energy, he needs to stop all that and Use his amazing wrestling skills which i think will literally throw shogun to the dirt easy. Question is, will jon jones control shogun on the ground? i think he will. I think it will tire shogun out alot if he uses his enegry to do the sweeps he did against machida.. machidas alot smaller, jones will lay on shogun and honestly probley tko him with a flurry of elbos in a controled ground position. This is mma, i dought anybody will guess whats gonna happen in this fight becuase theres too many different directions it can go.

    Stand up = shogun
    Ground = Jon jones

    Decision = jon jones by tko/submission on the ground

  8. Shogun in my opinion became overated after winning a rematch against machida…. shoguns advantages on machida wont work against any of these fights. His sweeps wont work against bones, his stand up wont work as good since hes not fighting a karate fighter who walks back. SHogun is gonna lose the belt. Nobody can beat jon jones, maby machida but thats about it. U guys will see this isnt a hype train… jon bones jones is gonna be a freak like anderson silva.

  9. Rua’s level will be a shock to Jones and we’ll all watch Rua dominate Jones as the experience aspect will figure greatly in the outcome.

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