When Jones music started playing and it showed him alongside his cornermen and coaches, he just said "alright let's do this" and looked truly nervous to me. I really thought "Goddammit, the pressure got to the kid." I mean he's 23, my friends and I were discussing how you may have several fights in the UFC but when you know you're walking out to the literal most important moment of your life, how can you not be rattled by it? The next 25 minutes will dictate your entire future . Not a lot of people are in such high stress situations, especially not at only 23 years old.
His demeanor on the walk to the octagon didn't inspire much more confidence, he simply looked worried. I really wondered what his coaches were saying to him right before he crawled up the stairs, because I thought he needed some real motivational speaking right at that moment.
When he stalled at the door to the cage praying, I really thought we were going to see a little puddle start to form beneath him, it just made sense that he was pissing himself and didn't want to get the canvas wet.
Finally we get to the fight, and his immediate flying knee reminded me of Brock Lesnar against Cain Velasquez. I thought for sure he was about to just give Shogun that opening that he needed to land the first clean shot on Jones untested chin... but that didn't happen. In fact, it was the opposite.
Jones was absolutely dominant. When there was that game-changing exchange which had Shogun clearly wobbled, instead of teeing off and going in for the kill, Jones stepped back. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I've never seen someone just know "yeah, this is happening, I fucking did it." because that's what his actions said to me. He knew he had this fight won, he knew he didn't need to punch himself out or take any unnecessary risks. If only Chuck Liddell had this sort of approach in that fight against Rich Franklin... but I was just impressed.
His maturity was incredible, I would attribute it to the Gospel of Greg Jackson, because that right there showed me why Jon "Bones" Jones is going to be a dominant and lasting force at 205. We all know how the rest of the fight went, but that was the most important moment of the night in my opinion.