However, after landing an illegal elbow to finish off a vicious sequence of ground and pound in the opening round, referee Steve Mazzagatti ruled the fight as a disqualification victory for Hamill.
Although the disqualification loss has blemished Jones’ formerly undefeated status, it is universally accepted that no fighter has been able to categorically defeat “Bones” in an MMA bout, as he closes in on his rematch against Daniel Cormier in the main event of UFC 214.
Volkan Oezdemir meets Jimi Manuwa in another top tier light-heavyweight tussle earlier in the night. Both men are hoping to underline their status as the division’s number one contender despite the looming presence of Alexander Gustafsson, who is currently ranked second in the UFC’s standings.
While securing a title shot is definitely a priority for him on Saturday night, Oezdemir is also hoping that “DC” doesn’t spoil his dream of becoming the first man to “legitimately beat” Jones.
“I dream about fighting Jon Jones and being the first guy to legitimately beat him,” Oezdemir told MMAFighting.com.
“That’s something that really gives me a lot of fire. It motivates me a lot. When he fights other people I get worried that they’re going to take my chance to be the first guy to defeat him.
“It’s the same thing with his fight against ‘DC.’ I think Cormier is a great man and a great fighter, but I don’t want him to win because I want to be the first person to beat Jon Jones.”
A far cry from the spectacular showcases we have previously seen from Jones, the biggest complaints were based on the fight being somewhat uneventful, with “Bones” returning to the Octagon for the first time in 16 months.
Some have mentioned the OSP performance when debating Daniel Cormier’s chances against Jones, but Oezdemir saw it as a typically “great” performance from the controversial 30-year-old.
“For me, it was a really great fight. He always has great fights. I never really have anything bad to say about him,” Oezdemir said.
“It’s true that a lot of people did not like his performance in that fight, but I don’t think he was in a bad position once when he was in there. As far as I’m concerned, it was a really dominant performance.”
Based on what he saw in Jones against Saint Preux, Oezdemir didn’t hesitate when picking a winner for the UFC 214 main event.
“I’m going to go with Jon Jones. As I’ve already said, I thought it was a great performance against OSP.
“Cormier has had a few great fights too. One of his best performances was against my teammate, Anthony Johnson,” he said.
“Both of these guys are really tough and I think they’re the best fighters the 205-pound division has ever seen. It’s an amazing matchup, but I still think Jon Jones is going to end up being the winner.”
Oezdemir thinks appearing on the same card as the Jones versus Cormier rematch will only help his chances of skipping the queue for a title shot. That being said, the Swiss fighter knows he will have to make a “big statement” to align himself with championship gold.
“The two champions are fighting on the same card as me,” Oezdemir said. “They are going to finally settle the beef and their fight will determine who will be the undisputed titleholder. It’s perfect for me to fight earlier in the night and to make a big statement. That way everyone will be talking about me being the next fight for the title.”