Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Jones busts up Sonnen, foot

Defends light heavyweight title with first-round KO, breaks toe in process

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NEWARK, N.J. -- Jon Jones bloodied Chael Sonnen with a series of strikes to the face in the first round to win by TKO and defend his light heavyweight championship on Saturday night at UFC 159.

Jones (18-1) matched Tito Ortiz in UFC history with his fifth straight successful light heavyweight title defence. Jones, though, appeared to break a toe and quickly needed assistance inside the octagon.

He hobbled around and used a stool to sit for his post-fight interview. Jones rested with the belt around his waist as doctors wrapped his foot. He walked out with no assistance and his left big toe bandaged up.

Jones needed little time beating the trash-talking Sonnen (28-13-1). After his third takedown, Jones buried a knee to the body, then went to work on Sonnen's face. Sonnen covered up as the ref stopped the fight at 4:33 of the first.

Jones returned to the Prudential Center and the site of his championship win over Shogun Rua in March 2011. He strolled to the cage and took delight in the long walk toward his latest title defence.

Sonnen stared at the giant video screen and beckoned for Jones to walk out. Sonnen stared down Jones for the entire walk to the cage and yelled out, "Come on, boy!" at the champ.

Jones dragged out his intro and hugged his mom before he stepped inside the octagon. He performed a cartwheel on the mat as the crowd booed the extracurricular theatrics.

They should have enjoyed them more -- his entrance was longer than the fight.

Jones, a former college wrestler and the brother of two NFL players, made quick work of Sonnen with uppercuts and elbows.

It was unclear when Jones was hurt.

The UFC hoped to pull off this bout in September as the main event at UFC 151.

Jones, though, refused to fight Sonnen on eight days' notice after contender Dan Henderson was forced to withdraw because of injury. Jones didn't want to risk his title against a last-minute replacement in Sonnen, so he balked at the fight.

UFC president Dana White was forced to cancel a pay-per-view show for the first time in his tenure. Jones survived a near submission and would defeat Vitor Belfort at UFC 152 in late September.

Jones and Sonnen coached against each other during the recent season of The Ultimate Fighter.

On the undercard, Sara McMann, a 2004 silver medallist in wrestling at the Athens Olympics, won her UFC debut with a TKO over Sheila Gaff. McMann jumped Gaff at the start and pounded her on the ground for most of the first round. She delivered a series of devastating elbows to Gaff's head before the bout was stopped.

McMann received a huge ovation after her hand was raised and she walked out of the octagon to No Doubt's "Just a Girl."

"I'm a wrestler. I can take people down whenever I want to," McMann said. "I put myself in the captain's seat where I could do the most damage and I plan to keep doing that."

McMann-Gaff was the third female bantamweight bout in the UFC, all this year. Ronda Rousey, who won the main event of UFC 157, was at the show.

With New York one of the few states that has yet to legalize MMA, the UFC has often turned to New Jersey to stage its biggest cards on the east coast.

Pat Healy opened the pay-per-view card with a third-round submission win over New Jersey native Jim Miller. Bruce Buffer was booed after he misspoke and named Miller the winner.

In other PPV bouts, Phil Davis won a unanimous decision over Vinicius Magalhaes; Roy (Big Country) Nelson used a big overhand right to stop Cheick Kongo in the first round; and Michael Bisping bloodied Alan Belcher with a nasty cut near the right eye and won via TKO.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 28, 2013 B16

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