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Jones set for title defense

August 21, 2012
By DANA BECKER sports@messengernews.net

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will make his return to the Octagon Sept. 1 when he takes on Dan Henderson in the main event of UFC 151.

Jones, a former NJCAA national champion while wrestling at Iowa Central, will be seeking his fourth successful title defense since winning the belt in 2011 from Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.

In recent weeks, Jones has been asked countless times about everything other than Henderson. He enters the fight as the odds-on favorite to retain his belt, moving one more title defense from tying the UFC record for the 205-pound division held by Tito Ortiz.

Jones tried to push the focus back on Henderson and not his Nike contract, his recent comments about a rematch with Lyoto Machida or his blooming feud with Chael Sonnen.

"I've talked to much past Dan Henderson this training camp, and I regret it," Jones said Tuesday during a media conference call. "I am closing in on judgment day and it is time to really focus in on Dan in every way, shape and form. I don't want to talk about (anything other than Henderson) anymore."

Henderson is a former world champion in several organizations, and defeated Fedor Emelianenko, an idol of Jones, last year.

"Beating Dan Henderson is very, very important to me," Jones said. "Dan Henderson is somebody that had the Pride belt, the Strikeforce belt, and I feel like I am fighting the current Pride champion and Strikeforce champion in some ways. I am fighting to get some of that credibility he has.

"He beat Fedor, and Fedor is one of my idols. To have Dan Henderson in my win column means the world to me."

Jones recently became the first MMA fighter to ink a worldwide deal with the clothing/shoe giant Nike. He said that some Nike gear will be used during the Henderson fight, but his complete clothing line will come at a later date.

"We'll put together an official uniform," Jones said. "I saw the signature shoe and it's pretty sweet."

 
 

 

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