Just hours after defending his UFC light heavyweight championship for the third time, Jon Jones already knows who will try to take his title next.

UFC President Dana White announced Saturday night at the UFC 145 post-fight press conference that former Strikeforce and Pride Fighting Championships titlist Dan Henderson (Pictured, file photo) will now challenge “Bones” in a clash of generations.

“I feel great that I already have a mission,” Jones told the media of his upcoming title defense. “I’m going to work extremely hard to better myself. Dan Henderson is awesome, and he has a large fan base. I’m sure the haters are going to come out right away. He has extreme knockout power, and I’m excited to conquer this challenge. My goal will be to finish Dan Henderson, with all due respect.”

Jones emerged victorious from his long-awaited showdown with Rashad Evans in Saturday’s main event at Philips Arena in Atlanta, taking a unanimous decision to retain the gold. Using his superior reach to his advantage, Jones kept his former teammate at bay for the duration of the 25-minute contest.

“I felt great [tonight]. Rashad is an awesome opponent. He’s fast, and he punches hard. I respect Rashad a lot,” said Jones, who previously trained with Evans at Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts in Albuquerque, N.M. “I would say that Rashad was my toughest fight to date. A lot of it was how tough he is, and some of it was my insecurities. He did big-brother me a few times in practice, so I think I was a little hesitant in some spots. I think this fight just brought me to another level mentally.”

Jones truly turned the tide in his favor in round two, when he blasted Evans with a series of standing elbows that staggered the former champion. Though “Suga” tried to work his way into punching range and even shot for several takedowns, Jones defended and countered nearly all of Evans’ offense. Nevertheless, the champion was still not completely satisfied with his performance after going the distance for the first time as UFC champion.

“I move smoothly when I’m working a heavy bag, but tonight I felt gangly and uncoordinated at some points. I think I just need to trust my [abilities] a little more,” Jones said. “[Trying to earn a] knockout was important to me. I wanted to back up what I said. I’m a big believer in goal-setting. Having goals keeps you on a path and keeps your eyes set on something. You can train to win, or you can train to finish and do something amazing. I didn’t [get the knockout], but I still sit here extremely grateful that neither of us are injured and live to fight another day.”

Jones’ collision with Evans marked the culmination of a feud roughly one year in the making. With the conflict between the two light heavyweights settled -- at least for the time being -- Jones was able to reflect on the lessons learned from fighting a former friend.

“I learned to stay away from other elite level fighters,” said Jones. “I have a lot of thinking to do about this situation. I hope to rekindle some communication with Rashad, and I hope we can do that in private. There is a lot of emotion between us that can lead to a friendship.”

While Jones clearly controlled the majority of the action in the cage, the champion still displayed respect for Evans’ punching power at several points, a fact that may have factored into his decision to pull guard in the fight’s waning seconds.

“I wouldn’t say I was hurt, but I would definitely say [Evans] wobbled me. There was one point where I got hit and tried to side-shuffle, and I stumbled. I was happy I was able to take punches from Rashad, because he hits hard,” said Jones. “I pulled guard because I am a mixed martial artist. A lot of times, people look at [pulling guard] as a sissy move, but I think a lot of [Brazilian jiu-jitsu] practitioners around the world loved it. It was a smart move.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Dana White: Conor McGregor could face Khabib Nurmagomedov in first lightweight title defense

  • 28 days ago
  • 60 views

With UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor set to take some time away from the octagon to begin 2017, there hasn’t been much talk of who he could fight next following his title-winning knockout of read news >>

Ex-UFC champ Jon Jones still planning jump to heavyweight, awaits 'perfect opponent'

  • 25 days ago
  • 40 views

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has flip-flopped on the possibility of moving up to the heavyweight division over the years. Currently, however, he said it’s eventually going to happe read news >>

Dana White Comments on Brock Lesnar's Future with UFC

  • 24 days ago
  • 49 views

The UFC suspended Brock Lesnar for one year and fined him $250,000 after it was revealed he failed two drug tests prior to his win over Mark Hunt at UFC 200. It appears his time in the Octagon may be read news >>

Dana White Confirms UFC 207 is Mike Goldberg's Final Broadcast | MMAWeekly.com

  • 23 days ago
  • 20 views

UFC president Dana White on Wednesday confirmed that Friday's UFC 207: Nunes vs. Rousey would be longtime commentator Mike Goldberg's final broadcast. read news >>

Dana White confirms UFC 207 is Mike Goldberg’s last event as commentator

  • 23 days ago
  • 22 views

LAS VEGAS – Friday’s UFC 207 marks the end of an era as longtime commentator Mike Goldberg will call his last event for the promotion.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

Video: Full Dana White media scrum ahead of UFC 207

  • 23 days ago
  • 30 views

LAS VEGAS – Dana White doesn’t spend much time with the media these days, so it was a surprise on Wednesday when he spent more than 30 minutes answering questions about Ronda Rousey, Conor McGregor, read news >>

Dana White Explains Ronda Rousey's UFC 207 Media Blackout | MMAWeekly.com

  • 23 days ago
  • 34 views

So how did Ronda Rousey get away with her UFC 207 Media Blackout? UFC president Dana White explains. read news >>

Dana White’s UFC 207 scrum notebook

  • 23 days ago
  • 11 views

LAS VEGAS – UFC President Dana White said it wasn’t his idea to sit before the MMA media for a scrum.Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Dana White not expecting another comeback by ex-UFC champ Brock Lesnar

  • 24 days ago
  • 13 views

Never say never, but it appears Brock Lesnar’s career as a UFC fighter could be over once and for all.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Brock Lesnar Back to the UFC? Dana White Doesn't Think So | MMAWeekly.com

  • 24 days ago
  • 32 views

UFC president Dana White won't ever slam the door, but said that he doesn't think Brock Lesnar will return to MMA following his suspension. read news >>