Jon Jones taps out Dan Henderson in grappling match, challenges Chael Sonnen
Jon Jones may not be able to step into the Octagon until at least July 2017, but he's not staying inactive while on the sidelines.
The former light heavyweight champion faced off with recently retired UFC legend Dan Henderson in a grappling match in the main event of Submission Underground 2 — an organization promoted by former UFC title contender Chael Sonnen airing on FloGrappling.com.
Jones accepted the match four years after UFC 151 was scrapped after his main event bout with Henderson fell apart just two weeks before the show was set to take place. Henderson suffered a knee injury that forced him out of the fight and he never got the chance to step into the cage with Jones until Sunday night in Oregon.
It was clear as soon as he stood across from Henderson that Jones was going to have a massive size advantage over the former middleweight title contender.
For the first few minutes, Jones and Henderson jockeyed for position against the cage with each one trying to get the upper hand on the other to land a takedown. Finally, Jones made his move with a beautifully executed takedown as he swooped under Henderson's arm and quickly tossed him to the mat.
Jones methodically improved his position while fending off an armbar attempt from Henderson on the bottom, but that was ultimately the only offense the 46-year old could muster. From there it was all Jones as he passed Henderson's guard on the ground before latching onto an arm triangle choke from the top.
A few moments later as Jones tightened his grip, Henderson had no choice but to tap out from the submission. The stoppage came at 6:39 in regulation.
Afterwards, Jones paid tribute to Henderson, who stepped into the grappling match just two months after his retirement following a decision loss to Michael Bisping at UFC 204.
“I know we've had our differences over the years, but I respect you tremendously,” Jones said to Henderson. “You're truly a legend and one of the greatest of all time in our sport.”
Following his words to Henderson, Jones then turned his attention to Sonnen, who asked the former light heavyweight champion about competing at Submission Underground 3 on Jan. 29.
“I'm thinking me and you Chael should do a little something, something,” Jones said to Sonnen.
“In that case — I will see you Jan. 29,” Sonnen responded before squaring off with Jones in the cage.
Jones already defeated Sonnen when they met in the UFC back in 2013, but now it appears the two fighters will face off again in a grappling match next year.
Also on the Submission Underground 2 card, Miesha Tate returned to action following her retirement from mixed martial arts to defeat Jessica Eye in a grappling match.
The former opponents ended up in sudden victory rounds after Tate thought she had a victory during regulation after locking up an armbar that seemed to earn her the victory. Unfortunately, the referee made a bad call because Eye never actually tapped out from the hold so they restarted the match.
From there, Tate was able win on criteria after escaping Eye's submission attempts in quicker time during the overtime rounds.