He’s vicious and he knows it.
Jon Jones is probably the most intriguing fighter I’ve watched inside the UFC Octagon since I started watching the sport around UFC 63.
His strikes are dazzling, his wrestling is phenomenal, and his submissions have been unstoppable thus far in his career. Along with this, he has arguably the best elbows from top position in the game and is a threat to end the fight anywhere.
Oh, and he has the longest reach in the UFC at 84″ (that’s even longer than Stefan Struve’s, who, at 6’11”, is seven inches taller than Jones and the UFC’s tallest fighter).
At 6’4″ and roughly 220-230 pounds before cutting weight, Jones has a decent heavyweight frame. His height is perfect and, as mentioned before, his reach is the longest in the sport.
His weight, though, could be an issue. Jones is very lanky and makes his money with precise and creative strikes. He doesn’t have one punch knockout power (or hasn’t shown it yet), and nearly every top heavyweight DOES have this advantage.
Look at the list of my top five heavyweights in the UFC right now:
Junior Dos Santos
Alistair Overeem (if he’s clean)
Mark Hunt/Cheick Kongo/Matt Mitrione/Shane Carwin/Travis Browne/Roy Nelson/Stefan Struve…you get the point
That list is packed with heavy hitters, and that’s a problem if Jones can’t pose the same threat. It allows Jones’ opponent to be more comfortable on the feet and throw with less worry of a powerful counter strike, and those are not dudes you want throwing heavy leather your way.
That said, Jones would still have his reach, his exceptional wrestling, his submissions and his all around creativity and athleticism to his advantage. If he can pack on a little more muscle and add some go-to power strikes to his arsenal, I think he could be just as remarkable at heavyweight as he has been at 205.
He’s that special.
What do you think? Could Jones hang with the big guys? Leave a comment and let me know why he can or why he can’t.