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Old 04-27-2013, 01:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Jon Jones' legacy and P4P status

Long time lurker here, and I think this is the first time I've ever bothered to start a thread. I'm bored, recovering from surgery, and this topic has been bothering me for some time.

Jon Jones' rise has certainly been meteoric, and the UFC currently ranks him #2 pound for pound. However, I've always felt that status was undeserved. Allow me to explain why.


Let's go over Jones' UFC career

André Gusmão, Stephan Bonnar, Jake O'Brien, Matt Hamill - All entry level fights. Not much to discuss here.

Brandon Vera - Used to shine in the old, shallow heavyweight division of the UFC. People always touted his potential, but he never came close to being elite in the light-heavyweight division.

Vladimir Matyushenko - A fairly legit guy, but long past his prime and I believe he was the oldest active member of the roster when Jones fought him? Also much smaller than Jones.

Ryan Bader - Good athlete, but always had plenty of holes in his game and has never looked elite. Jones also still had significant physical advantages over him.

Maurício Rua - I love me some Shogun, but we all know he is horribly inconsistent, and his best days have been behind him for quite some time. He had no cardio and never even got started in the Jones fight. Also much smaller than Jones.

Quinton Jackson - Used to be fairly legit, but hasn't been the same the last few years and obviously lost a lot of his interest and motivation. I also don't think his training has been great in a very long time.

Lyoto Machida - Crafty guy and had his moments, but let's be honest, he's a natural middleweight. Gave up a huge size and reach disadvantage to Jones. All that speed is pretty nullified when he has to cover twice as much distance as Jones.

Rashad Evans - Another natural middleweight who gave up significant physical disadvantages. Also already seemed to be on the down slope of his career at that point.

Vitor Belfort - Yet another middleweight. Came in as a late replacement, injured, and might have even got the win if he'd committed more to that armbar. Not bad for a guy who really shouldn't have even been fighting Jones.

Chael Sonnen - And finally, another middleweight who is even coming off a loss. Sonnen is at a severe physical disadvantage, and Jones is a nightmare stylistic match-up for him.


To sum it all up, while Jon Jones certainly had an impressive run, I feel that was more due to his opponents and match-ups than anything else. I still don't think he's ever truly been tested. I don't understand how you can give him such a high ranking when compared to other champs who have been much more tested.

Every single Jones fight has been a mismatch before it even gets started. He has a freakish reach advantage over everyone he faces, comes from a naturally athletically gifted family, and has pretty much faced exclusively middleweights, or guys who are on the down slope of their careers, or both for his entire title run.

Compare that to guys like GSP or Aldo. They have been thoroughly tested against guys just as big if not bigger, just as athletic if not more so, and guys just as much in their primes. Not a single person in the light-heavyweight division convinces me of being a threat to Jones. The only real close guy size-wise would be Gustaffson, but I've never been sold on him. He's always seemed lanky and awkward to me. Not nearly the natural athlete Jones is. A guy like Davis has the athleticism, but has large holes in his game, particularly in the striking.

So, really, who else is there to test a guy who was so tailor made for that division? Natural freak athlete with crazy reach, youth, decent skills and the ideal frame. The only other guy who was on the horizon was Dan Henderson. Notice a pattern? Another guy who spent a great deal of his career at middleweight, is pretty one-dimensional and 42 years old. Glover Teixeira? Not sold on that, either.

I'm rambling here, but I really just don't see how you can rate a guy who has never truly been tested and happens to be the only guy truly tailor made for the shallowest division in the UFC so highly. Even the heavyweight division has more depth with guys like Velasquez, Dos Santos, Cormier, Overeem and Werdum likely able to beat each other on any given night.

So, thoughts? Comments? Agree/disagree?
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Old 04-27-2013, 01:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _redruM_ View Post
Long time lurker here, and I think this is the first time I've ever bothered to start a thread. I'm bored, recovering from surgery, and this topic has been bothering me for some time.

Jon Jones' rise has certainly been meteoric, and the UFC currently ranks him #2 pound for pound. However, I've always felt that status was undeserved. Allow me to explain why.


Let's go over Jones' UFC career

André Gusmão, Stephan Bonnar, Jake O'Brien, Matt Hamill - All entry level fights. Not much to discuss here.

Brandon Vera - Used to shine in the old, shallow heavyweight division of the UFC. People always touted his potential, but he never came close to being elite in the light-heavyweight division.

Vladimir Matyushenko - A fairly legit guy, but long past his prime and I believe he was the oldest active member of the roster when Jones fought him? Also much smaller than Jones.

Ryan Bader - Good athlete, but always had plenty of holes in his game and has never looked elite. Jones also still had significant physical advantages over him.

Maurício Rua - I love me some Shogun, but we all know he is horribly inconsistent, and his best days have been behind him for quite some time. He had no cardio and never even got started in the Jones fight. Also much smaller than Jones.

Quinton Jackson - Used to be fairly legit, but hasn't been the same the last few years and obviously lost a lot of his interest and motivation. I also don't think his training has been great in a very long time.

Lyoto Machida - Crafty guy, but let's be honest, he's a natural middleweight. Gave up a huge size and reach disadvantage to Jones. All that speed is pretty nullified when he has to cover twice as much distance as Jones.

Rashad Evans - Another natural middleweight who gave up significant physical disadvantages. Also already seemed to be on the down slope of his career at that point.

Vitor Belfort - Yet another middleweight. Came in as a late replacement, injured, and might have even got the win if he'd committed more to that armbar. Not bad for a guy who really shouldn't have even been fighting Jones.

Chael Sonnen - And finally, another middleweight who is even coming off a loss. Sonnen is at a severe physical disadvantage, and Jones is a nightmare stylistic match-up for him.


To sum it all up, while Jon Jones certainly had an impressive run, I feel that was more due to his opponents and match-ups than anything else. I still don't think he's ever truly been tested. I don't understand how you can give him such a high ranking when compared to other champs who have been much more tested.

Every single Jones fight has been a mismatch before it even gets started. He has a freakish reach advantage over everyone he faces, comes from a naturally athletically gifted family, and has pretty much faced exclusively middleweights, or guys who are on the down slope of their careers, or both for his entire title run.

Compare that to guys like GSP or Aldo. They have been thoroughly tested against guys just as big if not bigger, just as athletic if not more so, and guys just as much in their primes. Not a single person in the light-heavyweight division convinces me of being a threat to Jones. The only real close guy size-wise would be Gustaffson, but I've never been sold on him. He's always seemed lanky and awkward to me. Not nearly the natural athlete Jones is. A guy like Davis has the athleticism, but has large holes in his game, particularly in the striking.

So, really, who else is there to test a guy who was so tailor made for that division? Natural freak athlete with crazy reach, youth, decent skills and the ideal frame. The only other guy who was on the horizon was Dan Henderson. Notice a pattern? Another guy who spent a great deal of his career at middleweight, is pretty one-dimensional and 42 years old. Glover Teixeira? Not sold on that, either.

I'm rambling here, but I really just don't see how you can rate a guy who has never truly been tested and happens to be the only guy truly tailor made for the shallowest division in the UFC so highly. Even the heavyweight division has more depth with guys like Velasquez, Dos Santos, Cormier, Overeem and Werdum likely able to beat each other on any given night.

So, thoughts? Comments? Agree/disagree?
There're holes in supermans cape - jones was 5 seconds away from having his right arm served up at fogo de chao by vitor belfort.
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Old 04-27-2013, 01:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The LHW division used to be one of the strongest but has been rather lacking for a while. Almost every fighter has some sort of significant hole in their game or is past their prime. Jones is one of the few young guys that is a good all around fighter and he definitely is dangerous but I too question how good he actually is(I don't think he is near A. Silva level for example).

Gustaffson is one of the toughest challenges for Jones imo. Machida is right up there as well and gave Jones a few issues but it was fairly predictable that Jones would win if he could get his hands on Machida which he eventually did.
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Old 04-27-2013, 01:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mastodon2222 View Post
There're holes in supermans cape - jones was 5 seconds away from having his right arm served up at fogo de chao by vitor belfort.
Which is exactly my point. An injured, undersized, late replacement Vitor Belfort nearly pulled it off. What would happen if he finally faced an elite, athletic LHW in their prime who can put it all together? Until we know the answer to that, I don't think he should be rated so highly.
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Old 04-27-2013, 01:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Jones came into LHW Divison simply at the right time, in my opinion.

You can't fault him for that, it's not his fault. But, there is no way I'd rank him as #2 P4P.
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Old 04-27-2013, 02:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I think he's the real deal skill-wise. Can't argue much of what you said about his opponents but would like to add that when facing someone who is really skilled like Jones, you tend to look bad no matter what else is going on.
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Old 04-27-2013, 03:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Alessia View Post
Jones came into LHW Divison simply at the right time, in my opinion.

You can't fault him for that, it's not his fault. But, there is no way I'd rank him as #2 P4P.
Nah, it's not his fault. It just really is very telling looking back at his run. Especially considering his last two defenses in a row are against middleweights, one of whom lost his last fight.

I do think he's a good fighter. I just think people often overlook how easy of a path he's had, and I don't think he's earned the kind of status that GSP, Silva and Aldo have. I'd really like to see him against a truly elite guy who isn't disadvantaged in nearly every way going into the fight and see how he does for once.

Until that day, he still remains a pretty big question mark to me.
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Old 04-27-2013, 03:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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There's a phrase we have around here that translates roughly to "painting the target around the arrow."

That's pretty much what you did here. Jon Jones has walked through a bunch of tough opponents, several of them had been champions not long before they got served. Saying "oh, they just weren't that good" after he demolished them is nonsense.
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Old 04-27-2013, 03:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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That's pretty much what you did here. Jon Jones has walked through a bunch of tough opponents, several of them had been champions not long before they got served. Saying "oh, they just weren't that good" after he demolished them is nonsense.
What I'm saying is he has never had to face someone truly elite, in their prime, who truly belongs in the division. Can you argue that? Also, I'm not just saying it after the fact, I've been saying it all along. In fact, the only advantage you could really argue any of his opponents having over him is experience, but that is thoroughly nullified by every other disadvantage working against them.

The bottom line is, I can honestly say I have never seen Jones win an equally matched bout purely by way of being the better fighter.
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Old 04-27-2013, 03:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Jon Jones is the real deal, but simply came into the LHW division at the right time. Who really is relevant anymore in that division? Was Shogun ever the same Shogun from Pride? But he is the king pin of that division and will be for a long time.

If he continues he may go down as the goat, but that belongs to silva right now. There is no one on Jone's list of opponent that can beat Anderson.

Anderson Silva is technically 3-0 at lhw and really has only landed a few strikers in each fight. He also has clowned people worst than Jones during his entire career. At the end for Jones to secure his legacy he will have to face Silva.

The only downside to that fight is father time will catch up to silva before it happens.
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