Dana White: Dan Henderson Next Up for UFC Light Heavyweight Champ Jon Jones


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

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 >>

Related News

  • 27 days ago
  • 14 views

We've taken a look at the UFC's heavyweight, lightweight and welterweight divisions. Today, we move down to what has historically been considered the UFC's marquee division: the light heavyweights. Like the heavyweight division, 205 is ruled by a title holder with an iron fist. But there are plenty of challengers waiting in the wings and even a few interesting prospects who could make some noise over the next few years. Let's take a look. The Title Picture Jon Jones The UFC has nearly reached th more

  • 25 days ago
  • 38 views

After a high-profile arrest -- and release from UFC -- Thiago Silva returns to mixed martial arts (MMA) in "The Sunshine State." Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight Thiago Silva is not only out of jail, he's back in the fight game, inking a new deal with Fight Time Promotions that puts him inside the cage at Fight Time 20 on Aug. 29, 2014, inside War Memorial Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Fight Time announced the deal earlier today (via Sherdog). The Brazilian more

  • 19 days ago
  • 28 views

"The Hammer" is headed back to the toolbox ... this time for good. Matt Hamill's retirement from mixed martial arts (MMA) ... take two. The longtime Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veteran, who cut his teeth on season three of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) and gave Michael Bisping his first big rivalry, is calling it quits after a nagging injury has prevented him from getting back inside the cage. From his official Facebook page: "First and foremost, I would like to thank my most loyal fans fo more

  • 16 days ago
  • 37 views

Watch the media scrum with Dana White following the UFC 175 post-fight press conference more

  • 14 days ago
  • 51 views

There have only been a handful of undefeated UFC champions in the promotion’s more than 20 year existence, but none have been able to hold onto the title and their flawless records for very long.Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 4 days ago
  • 76 views

Watch the pre-fight media scrum with Dana White before tomorrow's UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Brandao in Dublin, Ireland. more

  • 3 days ago
  • 46 views

UFC President Dana White joined members of the media following the UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Brandao card, where he discussed the event's remarkable success, as well as the outstanding performance of hometown star Conor McGregor. more

  • 19 hours ago
  • 1 views

Following a historic wrestling career, UFC light heavyweight contender Daniel Cormier leaves his shoes on the mat after one final match against fellow Oklahoma State alum Chris Pendleton. more

  • 28 days ago
  • 85 views

Move over Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar, your reality show brethren could be close to joining you. If Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White has his way (and he usually does), combat sports reality show veteran Jason Thacker could soon become a UFC hall of famer. Wait ... who? "Strange Brew" has a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) record of 0-1, thanks to a technical knockout loss to Chris Leben in the 2005 finale of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 1. It's kind of surprisi more