Jon Jones and one more stalwart on his way to stardom

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Jon Jones uses his wrestling on Brandon Vera. Photo: Josh Hedges

With 10 MMA wins, Jon Jones’s only loss came by way of disqualification due to an illegal elbow against Matt Hamill, which doesn’t set the 23-year-old back any on his ascent up the list of most promising athletes. Jones is carving out a place for himself in the stacked UFC light heavyweight division and, this Sunday at UFC on Versus 2, the fighter has another big challenge ahead of him: Vladimir Matyushenko.

“I respect Vladimir and I see him as a big step and great test for me. I feel he’s a great warrior and has what it takes to make it a tough fight. He probably has some of the best wrestling credentials of anyone I’ve faced, he definitely has the best record I’ve come up against, and he’ll be the best fighter I’ve faced. I feel he’s better than Stephan Bonnar, better than Hamill, better than Brandon Vera. He technical and skillful, I consider this the toughest fight I’ve had,” says Jones on the UFC website.

For this challenge, the fighter finds inspiration in one of his career wins, specifically the one at UFC 94.

“Having beat Stephan Bonnar really made me believe that I can beat a veteran like him. Now I see all these fighters as just being men, and any man can be beat. No one is invincible,” he remarks.

With great wrestling skills and impressive physical prowess, Jones remains a favorite to challenge for the belt in the near future. And he has no lack of confidence.

I become more confident with every win and believe more that I can be one of the best in the world. And I’m also starting to believe perhaps I am one of the best in the world. I have a lot of confidence and faith, I’m in this to be the best and I hope to be the best. I can’t wait to fight better and better opponents.

Check back with GRACIEMAG.com for all the goings-on in the UFC. Check out the complete card:

UFC On Versus 2
San Diego Sports Arena, San Diego, California
August 1, 2010

Jon Jones vs Vladimir Matyushenko
Tyson Griffin vs Takanori Gomi
Mark Munoz vs Yushin Okami
John Howard vs Jake Ellenberger
Paul Kelly vs Jacob Volkmann
DaMarques Johnson vs Matthew Riddle
James Irvin vs Igor Pokrajac
Mike Massenzio vs Brian Stann
Darren Elkins vs Charles Oliveira
Rob Kimmons vs Steve Steinbeiss

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