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Is There Any Real Challenge For Jon Jones At Light-Heavyweight?
Jon Jones‘ victory at UFC 159 over Chael Sonnen was somewhat inevitable. The long time LHW champ cruised through the bout and finished Sonnen with 30 seconds left in round one. The bout didn’t really do anything for Jones’ legacy, but the victories already on his record speak volumes about his talent.
So who is there in the division that can challenge ‘Bones’ in the octagon? Rumours are circling about a possible match against Alexander Gustaffson next, a bout which would probably be a bit closer than Sonnen vs. Jones. I still think that Jones would quite easily beat Gustaffson though. The Champion has just too much for the Swede, longer reach, better wrestling, harder punches, and above all else ‘Bones’ is the supreme athlete.
Dan Henderson might stand a chance of landing the H-Bomb, but with a guy like Jones I think you need way more than a punchers chance. Glover Texeira put on a great fight with Rampage Jackson, but does he have the ability to topple the 205 king? We are yet to see the best Texeira, but something tells me heavy hands and a good chin aren’t going to solve the puzzle.
In my opinion the guy with the best chance of beating Jones is going to have to bring something very fresh to the table. Lyoto Machida showed that elusive footwork and timing was part of solving the mystery. Although he was eventually caught and choked out, the first stanza of their fight showed a lot, to me at least. The way to beat a guy like Jones is going to take someone who can keep out of his range on the feet. There is no point running but keep out of his range just enough that you can catch him coming forward.
Jones proved his wrestling against Sonnen, taking him down at will and smashing him from the top. So fighting against the cage probably won’t go well. I think the plan for anyone trying to topple Jones is to time some counter strikes, and try to jump on an arm if you can stun him for a moment. Easier said than done I know. Yet again even after analyzing it piece by piece, I’m left wondering who is there at 205lb. that could implement that type of game plan?
The truth is I don’t think there is a challenge too great for ‘Bones’ at Light-Heavyweight. That kid is a monster. I would put money on Jones not losing a fight at LHW, but if he ever moves to HW, which I think he will, that is where I feel he will experience his first real loss.