Oh sweet, another Machida vs Jones thread. Golly I sure wish this fight wasn't a year + away, then maybe this wouldn't feel like a WAY too early discussion.
But all sarcasm aside, Machida has all the tools to defeat Jones, more readily than anyone else in the division by a long shot. He's got the best takedown defense in the sport and the some of the best pacing and control in the game as well. His in and out style has proven its effectiveness, and this new aggressive ellusive style he aappeared to attempt in Shogun #2 and showed clearly against Couture makes him even more dangerous.
The only other fighter I think would have a shot would be Rampage. With Rampage this is soley based on the fact that he has proven he's willing to take a huge amount of punishment from his opponent's to get into his range and wing those power hooks. He's proven over and over he will try, and will succeed. Rampage also has notoriously good takedown defense, the only time I've seen him look bad was against Evans due to crazy ring rust and a general laziness on Rampage's part in training.
Outside of those two, stylistically, there's very few fighters who are better than Jones. A 100% Shogun is intriging. His performance against Griffin will show if and how much he will have improved with a new camp and hopefully some semblance of a gas tank. Beyond them, Griffin IMO doesn't have the kind of explosiveness you need to get to the inside on Jones, nor do I think he's durabl enough to endure the abuse he'd take.
Jones definitely has the potential to be the next Chuck Liddell or Tito Ortiz of the LHW division. But he's still very young and even with what he has under his belt, is very much a journeyman as an MMA fighter.
Sig courtesy of that photo-matic magician limba
I went out the way that I fight. I went out on my shield. Thatís it. Done. --Chuck Liddell
My goal is to end my opponent --Carlos Condit