Sometimes an individual emerges within the confines of the expected. In the combat sports, it happens suddenly, oftentimes wildly, and violently exceeds all those expectations with such ease that it’s almost vulgar.
Terms are quickly attached to such individuals: prodigy, virtuoso, wunderkind and so on.
When Jon Jones came into the spotlight against Stephan Bonnar at UFC 94, observers were left scrambling to find which of those terms best applied to this fluent, violent, almost acrobatic slam-machine that tossed Bonnar around the cage like a practice dummy.
But the truth is, we’ve seen this before.
Mark Coleman and Mark Kerr were thought to be unbeatable in their heyday, only to find out that the sport of MMA is one of constant motion. They thought their dominance was the status quo, but they learned that to stay the same in MMA is to seem immobile. In the jungle, it’s always the animals stuck in quicksand that are devoured.
Undefeated fighters have long basked in the glory of those calling them unbeatable. It is a fan virtue in the fight game to be the first to “see” greatness in its earliest stages and openly proclaim it before the fighter becomes popular.
But it rarely lasts; just ask fighters like Royce Gracie, Vitor Belfort, Lyoto Machida and, of course, Rashad Evans.
Soon, he will bring his excellent record into the Octagon to challenge a man he knows well: the undefeated (disregarding the DQ loss to Matt Hamill) superstar of the moment, Jon “Bones” Jones.
So, who has the advantage? And where? Read on and find out.
It’s closer than you think.