This is a great thread. I posted something to this extent in the "Is shogun overhyped" thread. It's hard to compare someone like Jones's resume, who has just reach the Championship, to someone like Shogun's resume who has been at that level for a long time.
So if you want to refer to Shogun as a proven fighter and to Jones as an unproven fighter. Go ahead, but what does it all really mean?
Yes, Shogun has more experience, if that's what they mean. And I'm sure that experience will come into play at certain points in the fight. But it's not like Jones has fought a bunch of nobodies. While his resume might not look as impressive as Shogun's; Vera, Hamill, Vlady, and Bader are all good fighters, and none came anywhere close to finding an answer for the guy. So isn't that proof enough.
That is why I hate the term "unproven fighter" used, especially with Jones's name attached. I tell you one thing no one has PROVEN they can deal with his skill level yet.
Has Shogun proven he is a Championship level fighter? Yes. Can Jones prove this? Who knows, that's why they put on the fight. Jones still has that sense of invicability surrounding him. The question is will Rua be the one to show he is a mearly a human and has holes like the rest? BC every fighter has a hole or two, it's just a matter of time until it's exposed. Will Rua lift the curtain on the Bones Jones magic show, or will we have to wait a while to see how the magician makes his hands move faster than our eyes? That's what makes the sport so interesting. We can discuss records, quality opponets, strenghts and weakness, all we want but until the fight actually happens, it all means squat. I've been watching MMA for a long time and every time I think I have it figured out someone shows a new aspoect to their game.
Ex. GSP was prodominatly a kickboxer, up until he fought first Koscheck fight. Now he's one of the most dominate wrestlers in all of MMA.
That's why they train. To become a better fighter than they were in the last fight, to sure up weaknesses, and to put a new tools they didn't have before in their toolbelt.
"Intelligent fan can admit to their lack of MMA knowledge, because they have been shocked many times in the past." "These fans rarely make boastful fights predictions or demeaning comments to others. They instead they offer possible senerios to outcomes for both sides and refutes claims with information that supports it."