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The Dwindling list of Competition for Jon Jones

When the UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones defeated Rashad Evans by unanimous decision at last weekend’s UFC 145, the first things that came to mind was “WOW, he made it look easy.” Not too long after that though my mind reset and the second thing that came to mind was “who’s next?” for Jon Jones.

By night’s end fans had the immediate answer of Dan Henderson being next in line for the champion but the question “who’s next?” is still a viable one. As deep as the UFC light heavyweight division is, it lacks credible options for Jon Jones should he get past Henderson. Having already defeated five(*) of the division’s top 10 (per sherdog) and scheduled to fight the #2 ranked fighters, the #1 ranked Jones is quickly cleaning out the 205 lbs. division.

That leaves only Phil Davis, Alexander Gustafsson and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira remaining as the three currently top ranked fighters left. Now of course the landscape is ever-changing and a fighter could quickly make his will up the ranks but for this little exercise we shall deal with the here and now.

Davis (Ranked #6) is coming off a unanimous decision loss to the man Jon Jones just defeated and despite the high-ranking will need some wins under his belt before a title shot is an option for him.

Gustafsson (Ranked #7) is coming off a unanimous decision win against Thiago Silva at UFC on Fuel TV 2 and has won five consecutive bouts in the UFC. A top opponent should be next for the Swede and if his hand is raised once again he would position himself nicely for a title shot.

Nogueira (Ranked #8) was scheduled to fight Gustafsson before an injury removed him from the UFC on Fuel TV 2 card. Little Nog is just 3-2 inside the Octagon though and like Phil Davis, he needs to put together a winning streak before title contention.

Thin pickings to say the least, but should Dan Henderson go out and defeat Jon Jones this is all a moot point anyway.

(*) = Rashad Evans (#3), Mauricio Rua (#4), Lyoto Machida (#5), Ryan Bader (#9) & Rampage Jackson (#10)

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Tags: Alexander Gustafsson, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Dan Henderson, Jon Jones, Light Heavyweight, Lyoto Machida, Mauricio Shogun Rua, MMA, Phil Davis, Rashad Evans, Ryan Bader, UFC, UFC 145, UFC on Fuel TV 2

Category: Exclusive, Featured, MMA, Opinion, UFC

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My brain child is MMAValor, something I had wanted to do for a long time and finally it’s here. Been an MMA fan since TUF season one (play catch up all the time) and the obsession started to grow like a weed and as the sport grows so does the love for the sport. I’m a jack of all trades, a very organized person that rides an emotional roller coaster daily.

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