How do these guys stack up?
Rua: 29 years old, 6'1", 76"
Jones: 23 years old, 6'4", 84.5" reach
What have they done lately?
How did these guys get here?
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua became an MMA star by demolishing the middleweight division (205 pounds) in PRIDE. While defeating men like Quinton Jackson, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Alistair Overeem (twice) and Ricardo Arona he only lost once, a TKO by broken arm against Mark Coleman. After the UFC bought PRIDE, Shogun brought his talent to the Octagon but lost his first UFC fight to Forrest Griffin after being out of action for a with a knee injury. TKO victories over Coleman and Chuck Liddell earned him a title shot against then champion Lyoto Machida. Machida won the fight by controversial decision. The two rematched with Rua knocking out Machida in the first round. Now, after yet another knee injury layoff, he looks to defend his championship against a young superstar in Jon Jones.
Despite how some fans remember it, Jones did not come into the UFC as a can't miss star. He was an underdog as a late replacement against Andre Gusmao at UFC 87 and was the underdog again in his next fight against Stephan Bonnar. Jones won both of those fights by decision and proved to be a must-see fighter who brought creative striking and explosive takedowns to the cage. After dominating Jake O'Brien, "Bones" picked up his first ever loss against Matt Hamill. Jones had dominated against Hamill but landed an illegal 12-to-6 elbow and communication problems between the referee and the deaf Hamill led to the fight being called off for the elbow rather than a possible shoulder injury received on a takedown. Jones rebounded with three straight crushing wins and when Rashad Evans was forced to pull out of his title shot due to an injury the offer was made to Jones to face Shogun for the title.
Why should you care?
If you don't care about this fight, there probably isn't a fight that you would care about. Shogun is a great fighter and one of the best light heavyweights the sport has seen over the past decade. Jones has all the talent in the world and it appears impossible that he doesn't develop into one of the top stars in the sport. You should care because it's a great fight.