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Jon Jones impresses again, dominates Vladimir Matyushenko

Despite being just 23 years old, Jones appears ready to face division’s best

Jon Jones took care of business once again Sunday, defeating Vladimir Matyushenko by TKO just 1:56 into the first round of their light heavyweight fight at the San Diego Sports Arena.

Jones (11-1) stood and struck with Matyushenko (24-5) briefly before taking him down and moving quickly into a mounted crucifix.

With Matyushenko stuck on his back and showing no sign of getting out of trouble, referee Herb Dean stepped in almost immediately — a move Matyushenko didn’t dispute.

“No, I didn’t,” Jones said when asked if he thought the fight would be so easy. “I trained the hardest possible. I knew Vladimir would be my toughest test. I trained my butt off and things worked out really well.”

Things have worked out really well for Jones in just about every one of his fights.

His only loss came on Dec. 5, 2009, when he was disqualified from a fight against Matt Hamill for throwing illegal, downward elbows. Jones had dominated the fight up to that point.

In addition to the latest win over Matyushenko on the UFC on VERSUS card, Jones now has posted wins over the likes of Brandon Vera and Stephan Bonnar since joining the UFC’s light heavyweight division in 2008.

Although he’s just 23 years old, many are calling for Jones to face some of the sport’s toughest competition.

In his post-fight interview Sunday, Jones said he’s up to the challenge.

“I train really hard and my goal is to become one of the best in the world,” Jones said. “Whoever the UFC decides to give me, I’ll be ready.

“I just hope (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva and (president) Dana White kick it up with me and give me tough guys.”

In the co-main event, middleweight veteran Yushin Okami (26-5) pulled out a split decision win over rising prospect Mark Munoz (8-2).

Okami showed off terrific takedown defense against the former NCAA Division-I national champion wrestler, stuffing countless attempts by Munoz to get the fight to the ground.

Munoz managed to drop Okami with a left hook in the second round but was otherwise fairly outmatched on his feet.

“I was surprised (by the split decision),” Okami said. “But Munoz is a good fighter, so I feel good."

It was the fourth win for Okami in his last five fights, the only loss coming by way of unanimous decision to No. 1 middleweight contender Chael Sonnen last October.

Brett Okamoto can be reached at 948-7817 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at LVSunFighting

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