Jon "Bones" Jones vs. Alexander "The Mauler" Gustafsson is set to headline UFC 232 on Dec. 29 from Las Vegas' iconic T-Mobile Arena. Tickets are available right here on AXS.com. In honor of this historic contest, here's a look back at Jones' top five best moments inside the cage:
5. Finishing "Shogun" Rua.
In March of 2011, a 23-year-old "Bones" made the most of his first world title opportunity, as he knocked out the legendary Brazilian with a flurry of punches and knees. With the victory, Jones became the youngest champion in the modern era of the UFC. Interestingly enough, this is a fight that almost never happened. Originally, Rashad Evans was supposed to fight Rua. It was an injury to Evans' knee that led to Jones replacing him on relatively short notice.
4. Defending the belt for the first time.
Some say you're not really a champion until you defend the title at least once. At UFC 135, Jones left no doubt that he's the real deal, as he successfully defended his world title for the first time, against a very game Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. Jones finished the fight at the 1:14-mark of Round 4, showing off some slick Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu technique with a submission via rear-naked choke.
3. Submitting Lyoto Machida.
Jones leaving Machida in a crumpled heap after choking him out at UFC 140 is one of the most memorable moments in recent UFC history. Finishing "The Dragon" was a massive accomplishment because the Brazilian is a legend in the sport. Jones won with an incredible standing guillotine choke.
2. Edging Gustafsson in a five-round classic.
In September of 2013, Jones was stretched to the limit in a 25-minute war with Gustafsson. The fight was the first time that "Bones" showed he can go five rounds and survive a brutal beating, while still walking away with his hand raised. This back-and-forth bout, which saw Jones show off the heart of a champion, went down as one of the greatest fights in UFC history.
1. Beating Daniel Cormier.
In the main event of UFC 182, Jones turned in a majestic performance that included high-level wrestling, striking and footwork. He literally out-wrestled an Olympic-level wrestler and imposed his will on one of the best fighters in the world. "Bones" walked away with a unanimous decision victory, wooing the judges with a show for the ages. Jones went on to fight Cormier again in 2017, that time finishing with a head kick and punches. Unfortunately for him, the win was overturned due to the champ testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.