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Jon Jones TKOs Brandon Vera

Jon Jones and Brandon VeraJon Jones viciously beat up Brandon Vera in a short fight that ended with a decisive first-round technical knockout Sunday night at UFC on Versus 1, confirming in the Octagon what everyone who follows the UFC already thought: Jones is one of the best and brightest young stars to come around in a long time.

Jones used a great trip to take Vera down just a few seconds into the first round and got on top of him on the ground. But Vera did a nice job of controlling Jones once they went down, and the fight went back to the feet quickly. Within 30 seconds, Jones got Vera back down again, making clear that his strategy was going to be to take Vera down early and often.

Vera, however, landed a vicious and illegal kick to Jones' chin while they were on the ground in the first round, leading to referee Herb Dean taking a point away from Vera.

They were positioned back on the ground after Vera's illegal kick, however, and Jones went right back to work, eventually landing a brutal left elbow to Vera's right eye that badly hurt Vera. Jones followed it with another elbow for good measure, and a couple more punches from Jones later, Dean had no choice but to stop the fight to protect Vera.

After the fight Jones credited his hard work preparing for Vera for his victory.

"The fight was really good," Jones said. "I definitely didn't take Brandon Vera lightly. I studied him night and day, I studied all his footage. I almost felt as if I knew him before I stepped in here with him. It was just hard work and dedication. I knew he'd be a step up in competition and I won it before I got in here."

Jones also acknowledged that he realizes he's considered a budding star, even as he tries not to allow himself to be labeled as anything more than a hard-working fighter trying to prove himself.

"I try not to pay attention to the hype but I do recognize that it's there," Jones said. "I guess the only thing it does is make me try to live up to the potential. I think potential is the worst thing to waste and I'll make sure that doesn't happen."

A few years ago, Vera was the UFC's next big thing, but he's now lost five of his last eight fights. On Sunday night the "next big thing" label was symbolically passed to Jones, one of the UFC's up-and-coming superstars who is now 10-1. Vera falls to 11-5.

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