16 Dec 2009 06:02:22 AM
Due to a fractured ankle, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has been forced to withdraw from his co-headlining bout against Brandon Vera at UFC 109 (February 6, Las Vegas). Shortly after the news broke, Vera posted (then quickly removed) the following message on his Twitter page: "just found out I’m firing Jon Bones Jones on March 21st in Denver Colorado. hope u heard it here first!!!!"
We can only assume that Vera meant "fighting Jon Bones Jones," and that he won’t be flying out to Denver to terminate Jones from his contract, Clooney-style. And the March 21st date may also be a misprint: MMA Junkie and MMA Weekly both report that the yet-unsigned fight is actually slated for March 31st, and will headline an Ultimate Fight Night card just four days after UFC 111 (March 27, Newark). The 3/31 Fight Night show will lead directly into the premiere of TUF 11.
With Vera losing a close decision to Randy Couture at UFC 105, and Jones coming off his unfortunate DQ loss against Matt Hamill earlier this month at the TUF 10 Finale, both men will come into this fight with a lot to prove. Jones certainly has the wrestling advantage — as well as the spinning-elbow advantage — but will Vera’s rangy kickboxing cause problems for young Bones?