When you think back about 2011 and the year of MMA, Jon Jones name immediately is written in bold.
After defeating Lyoto Machida in the 2nd round of UFC 140 “Bones” has successfully defended his title for a second time. After a tough first round where Machida gave him different looks and stances, it looked like the fight would go to at least the 4th round. But after the first round and the look of frustration on Jones face set in, many said “could it happen?”
But he shook off any doubt in his mind, came out in the second round shot for the takedown and immediately began the elbow strikes to Machida’s head. Machida had no answer for this vicious offensive attack and it was only of matter of time before the fight would be finished.
Jones had the look of a animal looking for his prey when he locked in the standing guillotine (one of the hardest submissions to pull off) and successfully defended his Light Heavyweight Championship after Machida refused to tap.
Machida was supposed to be one of the fighters that could give Jones the most difficulty with his movements and the way he strikes. I even picked him to win this fight because I had the thought that he would pick his spots and use his leg kicks to perfection. Maybe I should just stop betting against Jones?
Jones being only 24 years old and still a “rookie” to this sport, can get that much better. What do you mean get better? I’m sure Jones after this fight will go back and study his tendencies and see what he can change up for his next fight after a well-deserved vacation. With the spotlight hitting Jones so early and often is there a fine line between cocky and confident?
That ambience that everybody heard at the weigh-ins as well as the fight itself was a loud arrival of boos for Jones. Being only 24 years old and already being one of the notable names in the sport, makes you wonder if Jones is getting too “big-headed” for his own good. Many have questioned his personal actions such as declining interviews from media members that he has done with in the past. Also refusing to look at his opponent during a stare down and just the way he conducts himself in front of fans. Questions have been asked and even though Jones hasn’t talked about it publicly, the confidence over takes any cockiness.
With Jon Jones being the age that he is you can’t help but feel happy for the guy who is riding the best waves of his short career. Sure he declines media interviews and doesn’t want to talk about the reasons behind that but he wants to focus on one thing and that is fighting. Machida was supposed to be the toughest opponent to date for Jones and after 6 minutes Jones hit a “switch” and did what he has done for the last 3 years. If you were in his position and have earned all these accomplishments so early and fast wouldn’t you act the same way?
Putting all those factors and questions aside the real fans want to know who can beat Jones. Does Rashad Evans have the inside scoop on Jones and what he can exploit in a fight? Or does Phil Davis follow the same route as Jones and be the next rising star? There are a lot of what ifs right now, but you can’t say either of them has a big advantage to successfully dethrone the champion.
2011 has been a great year for Jones and could hold onto that belt for many years. Every win Jones picks up he continues to build more confidence and the spotlight gets larger. The arrogance might grow as well but holding a level-head will make Jones a fighter that will be talked as one of the time greats in MMA history.