So said Jon Jones after retaining his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship via first round-TKO, early Sunday at UFC 159 in Newark, New Jersey.
Jones eschewed his considerable reach advantage and fought through what appeared to be a severely broken bone in his left foot en route to his first victory by TKO since the last time he fought in Newark on March 19, 2011, the night he defeated Mauricio "Shogun" Rua to become the youngest champion in UFC history.
Sonnen, who was roughly a 10-to-1 underdog, initially appeared to protest the referee's decision to stop the fight, but he quickly changed his tune in his post-fight interview. "I have no problem with the stoppage", Sonnen said. "Jon's the man."
With a promising career as a fight analyst for Fox Sports already underway, and a 6-6 record in the UFC, the 36-year-old Sonnen also suggested in the interview that his days as a professional fighter may be over.
Perhaps while Jones is recovering from his apparent injury, the title picture in the light heavyweight division will sort itself out.
Daniel Cormier, who fought at heavyweight a week ago at UFC on Fox, could drop down to 205 and perhaps be granted an immediate title shot. Alexander Gustafsson, who is currently without an opponent, or Glover Teixeira, who is slated to face James Te Huna at UFC 160 seem most likely to be the champ's next foe. Dan Henderson, should he beat Rashad Evans at UFC 161, could also be next in line for Jones.
Jones vs. Sonnen capped a night of fights that, with the exception of the quick finish to the Roy Nelson vs. Cheick Kongo match, was less-than stellar.
Main Card Recap
UFC Light Heavyweight Championship bout: Jon Jones (c) vs. Chael Sonnen
Round 1: Jones initiated a clinch, early, and both landed some short shots from that position. Jones bulled Sonnen into the fenceand took him down. Sonnen got back to his feet. Jones got control of Sonnen's waistand pushed him back into the fence. Jones landed an elbow and an uppercut. Jones got a big double-leg takedown. Sonnen closed his guard. Jones landed an elbow from the top. Another elbow from Jones, then another. Sonnen attempted an armbar, but couldn't get it. Another big shot from Jones. Jones postured up and landed a knee to the body. Two big punches and two big elbow strikes later and the referee dove in for the stoppage.
Result: Jon Jones defeated Chael Sonnen via TKO (strikes) at 4:33 of round 1.
Middleweight bout: Michael Bisping vs. Alan Belcher
Round 1: Belcher used a lot of kicks early, keeping Bisping at bay. Bisping pressed forward and tried to cut the cage in half, but Belcher would dance away and throw more kicks. Bisping landed a right hand. Belcher landed a hard right of his own to Belcher's face. Belcher switched his stance. Bisping got caught with a poke to the eye. Belcher slipped on a kick attempt, but Bisping could not make anything of it. Bisping landed a good right hand just before the horn sounded.
Round 2: Bisping missed with a head kick. Bisping connected with a right hand. Belcher missed with a right and Bisping connected with one. Another right from Bisping. Bisping connected again. Bisping started to tee off, landing big right hands, as Belcher just stood in front of him with his hands down. A solid exchange of strikes at the end of the round. Bisping's round for sure.
Round 3: Belcher charged in and took a wild swing at the start of the round, but Bisping stepped out of the way. Leg kick from Bisping. Bisping landed a combination. Bisping continued to land, while Belcher continued to stand in front of him with his hands down. Belcher shot, but Bisping stuffed him. Belcher caught a finger poke to the eye, that rendered him unable to finish the final minute of the fight.
Result: Michael Bisping defeated Alan Belcher via technical decision after an accidental eye poke (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
Heavyweight bout: Roy Nelson vs. Cheick Kongo
Round 1: Clinch. Referee broke the clinch. On the restart, Nelson hammered Kongo with an overhand right, which dropped him. A shot on the ground knocked him out.
Result: Roy Nelson defeated Cheick Kongo via knockout (punch) at 2:03 of round 1.
Light Heavyweight bout: Phil Davis vs. Vinny Magalhaes
Round 1: Clinch early. Magalhaes used kicks to create some distance early. Davis caught him with a head kick and hurt him with a left hand. Magalhaes recovered. Magalhaes caught a leg kick and took Davis down with hit. He took his back, but in trying to improve his position he allowed Davis to escape. Davis hurt him with a jab. Magalhaes complained of an eye poke, but the referee said he didn't see it and allowed the fight to continue. Davis with another jab. End of the round.
Round 2: Davis opened up Magalhaes with a right and hammered him with a left. Davis with a takedown, but allowed him back up. Davis with a punch to the body. Davis stuffed a takedown and continued to outstrike Magalhaes at the end of the round.
Round 3: Davis continued to get the better of the striking game early in the third. Magalhaes attempted to pull guard, but Davis would have none of that. Magalhaes missed with a head kick. Davis continued to outbox Magalhaes. Magalhaes shot and missed on a takedown attempt.
Result: Phil Davis defeated Vinny Magalhaes via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27).
Lightweight bout: Jim Miller vs. Pat Healy
Round 1: Healy threw a nice left right out of the gate. Big inside leg kick from Miller. Takedown from Miller. Miller got to armbar position, controlling both of Healy's wrists. Healy popped out of it, escaped and they got back to their feet. Inside leg kick from Miller, but Healy countered with a right hand. Healy got it to the ground and took Miller's back. Miller got back up, Healy took him back down immediately and took his back. Miller spun out and ended up on top. Miller hammered Healy's swollen eye and threatened to end the fight, but Healy survived the round.
Round 2: Healy clinched with Miller after Miller got the better of a standing exchange. Healy got his third takedown of the fight. Healy got to mont on Miller, but Miller hip-escaped. Healy opened up a cut under Miller's eye and hammered him with a knee to the body at the end of the round.
Round 3: Messy clinch, scramble and back to the feet early. Healy with another takedown. Big right hand to Miller's face. Healy with some hammerfists, then climbed up on Miller's back, then finished him with a rear naked choke.
Result: Pat Healy defeated Jim Miller via submission (rear naked choke) at 4:02 of round 3.
Rustam Khabilov def. Yancy Medeiros via TKO
Ovince St. Preux def. Gian Villante via technical decision
Sara McMann def. Sheila Gaff via TKO
Bryan Caraway def. Johnny Bedford via submission
Cody McKenzie def. Leonard Garcia via unanimous decision
Steven Siler def. Kurt Holobaugh via unanimous decision