Jon Jones: The Future of UFC

On Saturday 10th December, Jon ‘Bones’ Jones scored his sixth win in a row, defeating Lyoto ‘the Dragon’ Machida in what was billed as one of the most challenging fights of his career. Jones has stormed up the rankings and fought his way through the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s Light Heavyweight Division seemingly with ease, putting himself at the forefront of the sport and creeping towards legendary status. As fans relax over Christmas, enjoy ski holidays and chill out, Jones will be training as hard as ever, strengthening his core and looking towards his next fight.

Jones’ career only began in 2008 but his record shows only one loss in this time and even that was by disqualification, meaning Jones has never been defeated outright. Mixed martial arts fans have been adding to the hype, describing Jones as the biggest threat and most dominant fighter since the legend that is Brazilian middleweight Anderson Silva. Obviously, Jones has years left to fight, being only 24, so over time we’ll see whether this comparison is justified but his current record would suggest he’s definitely on the right track.

If Jones is to really flourish and show he is a contender, fans will expect to see him looking to other divisions for worthy challengers. In his current Light Heavyweight division, contenders are looking pretty thin on the ice and fans are really sceptical as to whether anybody really poses a threat to Jones. His most recent fight against Machida, he faced a real challenge. Machida was no push over winning the first bout, avoiding all Jones’ trademark elbows, punches and kicks as well as his huge 10.5” reach advantage. The second round looked like it was going to go the same way but like all legends and legends in the making, Jones switched up the pace and style of the game. Utilising the Greco-Roman wrestling of his background, he opened up Machida’s forehead and the Brazilian was unable to regain his rhythm. A shock was on the cards for a very short time but in reality, fans knew Jones would come good and exploit Machida’s weaknesses. His vast and varied array of fighting skills are what have given him such an advantage over others and have seen him defeat Hall of Famers Chuck ‘the Iceman’ Liddell and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson before Machida. His performance against Muay Thai specialist Mauricion ‘Shogun’ Rua is considered one of his most telling performances, completely outfighting Shogun to the extent that it looked like he was attacking an amateur! In addition to his huge range of different fighting skills, Jones’ impossibly long reach has also proved to be one of his greatest tools. With the longest reach in the whole UFC of 84.5”, Jones has a significant advantage against all fighters.

With the New Year approaching, The 2011 MMA Fighter of the Year has to focus on new challenges and what’s next for his career. Fans are convinced he is unbeatable and with no actual defeats behind him (ignoring the loss by disqualification) it’s hard to see who could possibly pose a threat. Other MMA and UFC reporters have suggested both ‘Suga’ Rashad Evans and Dan ‘Hendo’ Henderson as possible threats. Both older and more experienced fighters and their wrestling experience and expertise seem to be the area in which they could outfight Jones who is not especially known for his wrestling talent. Henderson is also considered a huge threat because of his immense power and ability to end a fight with one punch and Evans knows Jones personally, trained with him and so understands his game. Whether or not either of these fighters will actually beat Jones remains to be seen as his game is considered the most well rounded than any other in UFC. Jones is the complete package, his fighting style can adapt to any other fighter and realistically, for him to be defeated he’d need to meet his exact double in weight, reach and fighting style. If that could happen, we might finally see the defeat of Jon Jones.

The future of UFC is an exciting place when Jones is fighting. Over the next year he’ll defend his title in numerous bouts and, if his fans are to be believed, go from strength to strength cementing his role as a legend of the sport.

This guest post brought to you by Isabella Woods

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