Las Vegas, Nevada (USA) – The Ultimate Fighting Championship® announced that rising light heavyweight star Jon “Bones” Jones will replace Rashad Evans in the main event of UFC® 128 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on Saturday, March 19.

Jones will challenge reigning UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, following Evans’ withdrawal due to injury. The 23-year-old native New Yorker, who ended the undefeated streak of Ryan Bader via second round stoppage at UFC 126 last Saturday, looks to capitalize on this championship opportunity by defeating one of the legends of the sport. He also looks to cement his billing as the fastest-rising star in all of UFC.

“My goal is to be considered the best light heavyweight fighter in the world,” Jones, who boasts a record 12-1, said. “I feel as if it’s my time. My confidence is already high, I’m already in shape and I have six weeks to make myself even better. I can’t wait for this opportunity.”

Eager to defend his crown, Rua sees similarities in Evans and Jones, who are training partners. Given Jones’ strong wrestling background and unorthodox striking, the 29-year-old champion plans on making a few adjustments, but overall, anticipates a similar fight.

“I’ve been training hard for a fight on this date and I was prepared to fight Rashad,” Rua, who owns a record of 19-4, said. “I face this new challenge as motivation to train even harder. I’m a fighter and I don’t pick opponents. I’ll be ready for Jon Jones.”

Tickets for UFC® 128: SHOGUN vs. JONES are on sale now and priced at $500, $350, $225, $150, $100 and $60, not including applicable service charges. Tickets can be purchased at all Ticketmaster locations and at the Prudential Center box office. Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.prucenter.com or ticketmaster.com.

UFC® 128: SHOGUN vs. JONES, which is presented by Affliction, will be available live on Pay-Per-View on iN DEMAND, DirecTV, DISH Network, Avail-TVN, BellTV, Shaw Communications, Sasktel, and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $44.99 US/$49.99 CAN for Standard Definition and $54.99 US/$59.99 CAN for High Definition.

A bantamweight clash between former WEC champions “The California Kid” Urijah Faber and Eddie Wineland will also be featured at UFC 128. Faber is considered one of the most dominant fighters in the history of the lighter weight classes, and once held the featherweight title for over two years. With a submission win over Takeya Mizugaki in his bantamweight debut in November, the 31-year-old has his sights set on Wineland, a former WEC bantamweight champion boasting four consecutive wins, including back-to-back Knockout of the Night victories.

For more information, or current UFC fight news, visit UFC.com

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