By Shaun Cerisano– There were many questions leading into Saturday’s UFC 140 Main event. Could Lyoto Machida be elusive enough to give Jon Jones fits in the cage? Can Jon Jones take a punch? Is Jon Jones really that good? The quick answers: yes (sort of), yes and yes. In the first round, Machida’s elusive and counter punching style confused Jon slightly. Although two judges actually awarded the first round to Jones, I myself gave the round to Machida 10-9 and I was sitting directly behind one of the judges. UFC President Dana White also gave the first round to Machida 10-9. That brings us to question #2, can Bones Jones take a punch? Yes he can. Not only can he take a punch, he can use that punch to motivate him to fight stronger, tougher and smarter. After putting Machida to sleep (literally) in the 2nd round, I think it’s safe to say “yes Jon Jones is really that good”.
Now that those questions have been answered, the next question arises. Is Jon Jones truly the best fighter in the world? Dana White says no, he’s number 2 behind universal pound for pound kingpin Anderson Silva. While it’s hard to argue Anderson’s success in the octagon, having gone undefeated in every single UFC fight since his introduction in 2006, I have to disagree with Dana. When I think of the best fighter in the world today, I don’t think of what happened 3 years ago and certainly not almost 6 years ago when Silva fought Chris Leben in his UFC debut. When I think of who is the best pound for pound fighter in the world today, I think of what has transpired in the fighters most recent fights. So let’s compare Anderson Silva’s last 5 fights with Jon Jones’. Although both fighters are 5-0 during that span, there are some unique variables for us to look at.
Anderson Silva last 5 victims: Yushin Okami, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Demian Maia and Forrest Griffin.
Jon Jones last 5 victims: Lyoto Machida, Rampage Jackson, Shogun Rua, Ryan Bader and Vladimir Matyushenko
Out of his last 5 victories, Anderson Silva has 2 TKO’s, 1 KO, 1 submission and 1 decision win.
Out of his last 5 victories, Jon Jones has 3 submissions (including one against Silva’s friend and training partner Lyoto Machida) and 2 TKO’s.
If we dig further into each of Anderson’s victories, he dominated Okami, Belfort and Griffin. He fought a controversial and boring decision against Maia and was dominated by Sonnen until Silva forced a last minute 5th round triangle choke.
If we dig further into each of Jon Jones’ victories, he has dominated not only his last 5 opponents, but every single opponent who has ever stepped in front of him. When I say “dominated”, I mean he made former UFC champions Rua, Jackson and Machida look like they fighting against a martial arts robot on autopilot.
If we also look at the quality of opponent each man has faced. In his last 5 fights, Anderson fought a former LHW champion from 7 years ago (Belfort), fought a one and done former LHW champion in Griffin, and fought middleweight contenders in Okami, Maia and Sonnen.
Whereas Jon Jones has faced former PRIDE and UFC champion Rampage Jackson, former PRIDE Grand Prix and UFC champion Shogun Rua, former UFC champion Lyoto Machida and LHW contenders Bader and Matyushenko.
So who is actually the best fighter in the world? Well to be honest, we’ll never know the answer to that question unless we see a Silva vs. Jones Superfight. Until that point, It’s simply a matter of person opinion. But if you ask this guys opinion based on the facts we just looked at. Jon Jones is by far the best and scariest fighter walking on God’s Green Earth. What’s even scarier, he’s only 24 years old and has 6 years to go before he reaches his athletic peak.
Until somebody at least knocks him or takes him down, at least gives him a cut or a black eye. Until somebody at least shows they belong in the cage with “Bones”. How can you really argue he’s not the best fighter on the planet today? Machida was close, but when he collapsed to the floor like a pile of bricks with Jon Jones walking away like he just hit a walk off grand slam in Game 7 of the World Series. Well it’s obvious Machida’s only chance was luck and on this night, his luck ran out very quickly.
Feel free to comment below, I’d love to read your thoughts…