Jones was very tired by the end of the 1st against Shogun, it then took him until halfway through the 3rd to finish the fight. He got knackered in less then 3 rounds, taking hardly any damage, trying to finish a fighter even more tired than he was.
Defeating Rua via TKO in the 3rd is impressive on paper, however watching the fight, the fact he didn't finish it in the 1st is very unimpressive. Doesn't matter if it is Shogun, he had a fighter hurt and losing energy fast early in the first round, and then he himself gassed without even taking damage and took another 2 rounds to get it done.
So yes the key to Jones is to take it to later rounds WITHOUT taking much damage, Shogun defended well on the ground which is what tired Jon, but he didn't play it smart on the feet and make Jon chase him and get frustrated. Any of the Top LHW's including Shogun can do that to Jones on the feet, he is not a technical striker, but I'm not sure that any of them can neutralise Jon's ground game better than Rua did.
Patience + Cardio + emphasis on GnP defense = by 3rd or 4th, Jon's size and explosiveness is less of a factor, and his raw skillset can be taken advantage of. Griffin, Machida, Evans, Rua, Rampage, can all exectue this gameplan and finish Jones in the later rounds, being aggressive in the early rounds is just making the fight much harder than it needs to be.
Hold on a bit!
1. I agree he wasn't the "Duracell Bunny". And yes, he showed signs of getting tired by the end of the 1st and 2nd. But far from gassing.
Greg Jackson admitted himself that he noticed Jones looked tired in the 2nd rd, but was impressed by the way he reacted and managed to keep a very high pace.
To say others could take advantage of him tiring out sounds like a fairy tale atm. And i appreciate the fact you put it like this.
WITHOUT taking much damage
It's a tiny-HUGE problem for his opponents, because so far he has brutalised all of his opponents in the first 2 rounds.
Everyone who thinks: "all i have to do is hold on in the first 3 rounds and wait for Jones to get tired, then i will beat him....." - is close to being retarted!
Jones got tired because he was very active on the bottom and on the feet. Especially on the ground: every action he did, was meant to hurt Shogun and tire him out even more.
Even at the expense of him getting tired as well.
But when you are causing more damage to your opponent, even under these circumstances, it's a "great deal".
He was very active on the ground and he didn't go all out in the first, because he had a lot of respect for Shogun's guard. He worked a lot, trying to control Shogun the way he wanted to.
And on the feet, i think he did just fine.
I think he showed a lot of maturity in this fight and executed.
And yes: conditioning is something he still needs to improve. You can never be too prepared in this case.
2. Even in if he were to get too tired, he can do what all MMA fighters do in this kind of situations (especially wrestlers): take their opponent down and grind it out.
3. Some people seem to forget one tiny-tiny thing...
Jones' fight against Shogun was his 2nd in 6 weeks!!!
Basically, Jones had no break between the Bader fight and the Shogun fight.
He had 3 months of camp when preparing for Bader + weight cutting weight + the fight.
And after that he jumped straight in another camp + another weight cut + another fight.
Everyone who doesn't take this into consideration, doesn't know what they're talking about.
Others have done it before and i don't want this to sound like he did the hardest and most impressive thing ever, but if you count both training camps, that's a lot of hard work right there.
And watching "In the Moment", plus listentin to his coaches and his brother, i tend to think he worked his a*s off, in preparation for this fight. I've heard something about 6 hours/day...
At the end of the day it's winning that counts.
And he is good at this.