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UFC Betting: Jones vs. Rua

Can Jon Jones handle the fast track to the title? We’re going to find out sooner rather than later if he’s ready for MMA’s biggest stage when he challenges Mauricio Rua for the UFC Light Heavyweight belt at UFC 128 a few weeks from now.

After submitting Ryan Bader in their UFC 126 fight, Jones was awarded a title shot in place of injured Rashad Evans. Rua has been training for Evans and will face a completely different fighter in Jones. Bookmakers at Bovada believe that Jones is the next big thing in the Light Heavyweight Division and already have him as the -155 favorite to take Rua’s belt away.

Jones has been a complete wrecking machine since entering the UFC and deserves to be fighting for the title. That doesn’t mean that he should be fighting for the title, but he certainly deserves the shot. We’ve all seen what can happen to a top prospect when they fight too soon for the belt, GSP vs. Matt Hughes 1 comes to mind for example.

But Jones looks like he’s ready for any challenge that may be put in front of him, and he has numerous ways in which he can beat Rua. If somehow Shogun can penetrate the defense of Jones and either land a big shot or out-point the challenger, he will pay an upset MMA betting line of +125. Keep your eye on that line; it may move a lot over the next couple of weeks.

Rua has been recovering from a long layoff from competition and hasn’t been in the Octagon since May of last year. Jones has fought three times over the last year and will be fresh and ready to take on the title shot in mid March. This fight is truly a battle between the two best in the UFC Light Heavyweight Division.

We think that despite the obstacles in his way Jon Jones will become the next UFC Light Heavyweight champion. Once he gets his hands on Rua he will control the rest of the fight from the ground until a submission opportunity presents itself. If he can’t submit Rua he will have enough points from takedowns and strikes to gain a decision win.

Jones is some of the safest money in MMA right now, and it doesn’t look like anyone is going to come along and change that anytime soon. And this is just the beginning for the 23-year-old Jones, who will eventually fill out his 6 foot 4 frame and fight at Heavyweight.