Jones dominated fellow light heavyweight Brandon Vera in the main event of the UFC’s Versus debut in Broomfield, Colorado, tossing the former heavyweight standout to the ground before going on the offensive from the top position and ultimately connecting with a hard elbow near Vera’s eye that was the beginning of the end.
With a likely facial fracture, Vera immediately covered up and Jones landed several more strikes before the referee stepped in to stop the contest.
The 22-year-old Jones improves to 9-1 with the most-impressive victory of his young career, rebounding from a controversial DQ loss to Matt Hamill, while Vera, who lost a point due to an illegal upkick earlier in the first, falls to 11-5 after suffering his second straight loss.
In the UFC on Versus 1 co-headliner, the upcoming knockout artist dos Santos continued his run of impressive victories, earning a first-round KO of fellow heavyweight Gabriel Gonzaga. After a tentative start, dos Santos countered a Gonzaga kick, flooring the fellow Brazilian before followed him to the ground and finishing him with powerful ground and pound.
With the win, dos Santos improved to 11-1, with stoppages in all five of his UFC bouts, and a showdown with fellow contender Cain Velasquez is likely ahead, while Gonzaga will look to bounce back after dropping two of his last three fights.
Also on the main card, Cheick Kongo roughed up Paul Buentello, eventually forcing the veteran heavyweight to submit to the punishment early in the third, while Alessio Sakara spoiled James Irvin’s middleweight debut, connecting with a punch to the eye in the first that ended Irvin’s night early.
Relegated to the evening’s preliminary card, popular lightweight Clay Guida rebounded from back-to-back losses with an arm triangle submission of Shannon Gugerty, while first-round knockouts by John Howard and Brendan Schaub also highlighted the prelims.
The undercard also included decision win for Vladimir Matyushenko, Mike Pierce, and Jason Brilz, while an ankle injury ended Duane “Bang” Ludwig’s night early, giving Darren Elkins a victory in his UFC debut.
The complete results for “UFC on Versus 1: Vera vs. Jones” were:
- Jon Jones def. Brandon Vera via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 3:19
- Junior Dos Santos def. Gabriel Gonzaga via KO (punches) – Round 1, 3:53
- Cheick Kongo def. Paul Buentello via submission (strikes) – Round 3, 1:16
- Alessio Sakara def. James Irvin via TKO (punch to eye) – Round 1, 3:01
- Clay Guida def. Shannon Gugerty via submission (arm triangle) – Round 2, 3:42
- Vladimir Matyushenko def. Eliot Marshall via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)
- Darren Elkins def. Duane “Bang” Ludwig via TKO (injury) – Round 1, 0:44
- John Howard def. Daniel Roberts via KO (punch) – Round 1, 2:01
- Brendan Schaub def. Chase Gormley via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 0:47
- Mike Pierce def. Julio Paulino via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Jason Brilz def. Eric Schafer via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Pictured: Jon Jones