UFC on Versus took place at the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, CO on March 21, 2010. The main event on this card was a light heavyweight showdown between Jon “Bones” Jones vs. Brandon “The Truth” Vera.
Brandon Vera was being picked by many to win this fight. Vera was a crafty veteran who had fought in the UFC since 2005. He had fought many tough opponents such as Randy Couture, Frank Mir, Tim Sylvia, Fabricio Werdum, and Keith Jardine. With a resume of this caliber, plus excellent submission and stand up skills, he was expected to “delay the launch” of Jon Jones.
This would be Jon Jones 5th fight in the UFC. Many fight fans felt that this would be a true test for Jones. Although he had won 3 of the 4 victories on his record, with 1 disqualifying loss to Matt Hamill, the general consensus was that he simply had not faced an opponent of Brandon Vera’s caliber. He was impressive in his victories over Andre Gusmao, Stephan Bonnar, and Jake O’ Brien. He was even impressive in the disqualifying loss to Matt Hamill. His Greco-Roman style of wrestling included some very innovative and exciting take-downs, some of the most memorable being in his match with Stephan Bonnar. People were excited about Jones, but many thought that he simply did not have enough experience to dispatch of Brandon Vera. Come fight night, a lot of anticipation was in the air. Could Jon Jones be the real deal, or would Brandon Vera put a stop to the “Bones” hype train?
Round 1, both fighters come out to the middle of the ring, touch gloves, and square off. Jones throws a quick punch and a kick, and gets in close enough to take Vera down. Jones stays in top position, and attempts some ground and pound. After about 30 seconds, Vera is able to kick Jones off and stand back up. Jones throws a couple of leg kicks, Vera attempts one himself. They get back into the clinch and Jones throws a knee to Vera’s stomach. Jones then drops down and goes for a takedown. He works hard for about 10 seconds trying to get it and he finally does. Jones is back in top position again. Nothing is really happening for the next minute or so, Jones attempts one elbow while stuck in Vera’s guard, and Vera does nothing.
Jones backs up slightly attempting to reign down some shots, and Vera catches him in the face with an upkick. Because one of Jones knees is on the ground, the kick is considered illegal, and referee Herb Dean takes a point from Vera.
After allowing Jones to recover, the ref puts Jones right back in top position once again and the fight continues. Vera throws another kick from the bottom and catches Jones in the shoulder. The action slows as Jones remains in Vera’s guard looking for openings. Vera is not doing much of anything from the bottom.
At the 1:50 mark, Jones raises up within the guard, and strikes downward with a vicious elbow that lands flush on the right side of Vera’s face. Vera immediately covers his face while Jones starts reigning down punches. After Jones lands 2 or 3 punches, Vera kicks Jones away and rolls over on his stomach, still covering his face with his hands. Jones quickly pounces on Vera landing 2 or 3 more punches. Referee Herb Dean decided that Brandon Vera had taken enough damage, and steps in and pulls Jon Jones back. The fight is over. Jon Jones wins by TKO in the first round. Fight fans are both thrilled and stunned at the result. Stunned at the fact that Jones easily beat the veteran Vera, and thrilled at the manner in which he won.