Jones quickly rising to head of the class

The athleticism and unorthodox striking that Jon Jones has displayed in his young MMA career have led some to point to the 22-year-old as the future of the sport.

Jones has been adding a classroom element to his repertoire that could make him even more dangerous.

Jones used some of what he learned watching tapes of Brandon Vera’s fights to score a first-round knockout of Vera in the main event of the Ultimate Fighting Championship card Sunday night in Broomfield, Colo.

“I watched the Fabricio Werdum fight and saw that (Vera) had very bad judo defense,” Jones said in a postfight interview posted on UFC.com. “I think Werdum inside leg-tripped him twice to take him down, so I really sharpened up my judo.”

Jones threw Vera to the mat almost immediately with a hip toss and won the bout three minutes later with a left elbow that forced Vera to cover up with both hands and caused the referee to stop the bout.

“I think it was a really good test. To be the best student, you have to study, study, study,” Jones said. “I feel as if I got an A on this test. It’s just a testament to studying and hard work.”

Vera was able to get back to his feet momentarily, but Jones picked him up and threw him back down.

Also on the card, Junior dos Santos added another knockout victory to his growing resume with a first-round stoppage of Gabriel Gonzaga.

Dos Santos, a 25-year-old heavyweight, has knocked out all five of his UFC opponents, four of them in the first round.

He countered a leg kick with a left hook that sent Gonzaga sprawling backward to the mat. Dos Santos then unleashed a string of punches until the fight was stopped.

Cheick Kongo snapped a two-fight losing streak as he beat up Paul Buentello before prompting him to tap out in the third round as Kongo was delivering knee strikes to his body.

Alessio Sakara landed a punch that appeared to hit James Irvin right in the eye. Irvin complained that it was an eye poke and that he should be given time to recover. But the referee ruled the punch to be clean and awarded Sakara a first-round knockout victory.

John Howard and Brendan Schaub each won by first-round knockout on the undercard of the organization’s first card televised on Versus, and Clay Guida defeated Shannon Gugerty by submission in the second round of a lightweight bout.

■ UFC ON VERSUS 2 SET — The UFC and the cable network announced plans for a second card on Versus in 2010 after Sunday night’s debut.

The network will air a UFC card on Aug. 1 that is scheduled to take place in Oakland, Calif.

■ DREAM 13 — Bibiano Fernandes retained the featherweight title with a split decision victory over Joachim Hansen in the main event of the Dream card early Monday in Yokohama, Japan.

Josh Barnett defeated “Mighty Mo” Siligia by submission in the first round, and K.J. Noons earned a decision over Andre Amade.

■ COUTURE HEADLINES AMATEUR CARD — Ryan Couture will fight for the Tuff-N-Uff 155-pound title on the organization’s amateur card at The Orleans on Friday night.

The son of UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture will take on Sean Bollinger, a student of Eddie Bravo at 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu.

Vince Norcia and Andrew Alirez will meet for the 145-pound belt, and Las Vegans Tim Bowman and Edmond Xhelili will square off for the 185-pound title.

Contact reporter Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5509.

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