Jon Jones. What more of a lead do I need in September 2012?
Not only among UFC fighters, Jon ‘Bones’ Jones has become one of the most polarizing figures in all of sports. From his beginnings as a humble fighter, his detractors called him a fake, claiming his attitude was a façade to gain fans. The last year, although a dominant one for Jon Jones, didn’t help him win those detractors over.
After a DUI, and very clear audio of Greg Jackson telling Jon Jones to check on opponent Lyoto Machida to “get some fans”, it didn’t seem as things could get worse for someone seemingly on top of the world, with a good head on his shoulders.
Jones was slated to face the legendary Dan Henderson at UFC 151 on September 2nd. Unfortunately for all involved, Henderson suffered a knee injury weeks before the bout. Typically, this wouldn’t be an issue, as the UFC could find a replacement three weeks ahead, but Henderson failed to notify the UFC until ten days before the bout. With the UFC scrambling to find a challenger, the fight was offered to Lyoto Machida and Shogun Rua, who both declined.
Soon after, Middleweight Chael Sonnen accepted the bout, which many had suspected he had been jockeying himself for. Around the time of Henderson’s injury, Sonnen, a friend of Henderson, began publicly harassing Jones. When the opportunity came about, Sonnen accepted, only for Jon Jones and Coach Greg Jackson to decline, citing a few days as not being nearly enough time to train for such a fight. Because of this, UFC 151 was canceled. UFC President Dana White and fans alike blamed Jon Jones for the cancellation, despite an obviously weak card, not being able to support the injuries.
Instead, Jon Jones offered to fight anyone the UFC chose at UFC 152 only four weeks later. After Rua and Machida again declined, the UFC decided to pass on Chael Sonnen, in favor of former Light Heavyweight Champion Vitor Belfort. Despite Belfort being much more qualified, and having history in the division, many fans were perplexed. In the weeks prior to the throwdown, Belfort and Jones had billed this fight as the “Young Lion vs. The Old Lion”
The young lion prevailed, but not without a fight. Early in the first round, Belfort locked in a tight armbar, hyperextending the elbow of Jones. Jones would later say he was waiting for the arm to break, because he had no plans on submitting. After a narrow escape, Jones absolutely decimated Vitor Belfort. Improving his position, Jones brought dozens of elbows to the face and body of his opponent, including a heavy cut over Belfort’s right eye.
The second round saw Jones attack the knee of Vitor, with a style of front kick that has been put under consideration to be banned in the past.
However, with the kicks being legal, Jones utilized them, as well as his reach, as Vitor had no answer.
After being controlled on the feet, Vitor repeatedly attempted to pull guard, in an effort to go back to the well that nearly won him the fight in the first round. He was unsuccessful, and was punished heavily, before Jones submitted him with an Americana elbow-lock. The win marked Jon Jones’ record setting 6th submission win in the Light Heavyweight division, and defeated his fifth consecutive former UFC champion.
After the bout, Jones said that the armbar had indeed been injured, although by press time, doctor’s speculated there may be nerve damage in his bicep.
The original main event saw Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson take on Joseph Benavidez for the inaugural UFC Flyweight (125 lbs) title.
While the scorecard didn’t reflect it, Mighty Mouse Johnson dictated the majority of the fight on the feet, and the ground, after a guillotine escape that threatened early.
Johnson managed to use blazing speed, and his unmatched footwork to pick Joseph Benavidez apart on the feet. Seemingly able to predict Benavidez’s decisions, Mighty Mouse was able to avoid a significant amount of Benavidez’s offensive efforts. Johnson also managed to take his opponent down five times on his way to a seemingly decisive victory. However, the judges didn’t all agree, as it ended up as a split decision victory for Johnson.
Other big wins included Michael Bisping over Brian Stann, the returning Matt Hamill won a decision against Roger Hollett, Cub Swanson with a huge knockout over Charles Oliveira, and TJ Grant over Evan Dunham in an outstanding battle.
THE VIRTUOUS ONE’S VIEWPOINT
Jon Jones is the greatest fighter above 200 pounds of all time. Better than Shogun, better than Wanderlei, better than Fedor. Five UFC champions Jon Jones has not only defeated, but tooled. When will the UFC run out of giants and legends for the young champion to slay? Dan Henderson may be next, depending on the extent of Jones’ injury.
I’ll also say if Anderson Silva is the Michael Jordan of MMA, then Jon Jones is LeBron James. He has outstanding tools, and outshines all opponents.
Despite him not being raised in the area, the fact that Demetrious Johnson, a Kentucky born fighter won the inaugural UFC World Flyweight title, makes me extremely proud. I’ll always support local fighters and hometown heroes, and Johnson has overcome extreme odds to get where he is. Guys, put away your beers and start appreciating these great flyweights instead of booing everyone shorter than you!
There were rumblings of Michael Bisping being granted an opportunity against Anderson Silva following his win. Bispings striking is solid, and his grappling was impressive Saturday, but I don’t think he’s anywhere near a level in which he could compete with Anderson Silva, particularly with Chris Weidman waiting in the wings.
Also worth noting, with next week’s main event being Stefan Struve vs. Stipe Miocic, there has been ONE UFC Heavyweight fight over the past six cards.
Until next time….Jon Jones eats all of your heroes and gods alive..
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