If there is one thing we can expect from Jon Jones, it is that he has no intentions of slowing down.
Since Jones took the title from Shogun Rua, he has defended his belt three times against three former champions, and he’s looked incredible while doing so.
Of course, there are many reasons why his star is rising so quickly, and here are five.
Length of Frame
Jon Jones possesses a reach advantage over everyone in the division, and that is something that is going to continue to pose a problem for anyone who faces him.
Fighters with the gift of length and reach present huge tactical problems, especially when they know how to use it.
Jones knows how to keep his opponents at bay if he wishes, and if that was not enough, he is able to do significant damage at long range.
Simply put, Jones can hurt you before you can hurt him.
And with each fight that comes to pass, he’s getting better and better.
Application of Leverage
Jones is an expert in the application of leverage.
Archimedes said, “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world."
If Archimedes were alive today, he’d no doubt have a student in Jones, who used those principals to toss Stephan Bonnar all over the cage at UFC 94.
Truth be told, Jones has been using the gift of leverage in some way, shape or form in just about every fight he’s been in.
His long frame allows him to apply the kind of leverage that helps him move opponents almost anywhere he wishes to place them, and controlling where a fight takes place is one of the key elements of victory in MMA.
Intuitive Grappling and Submissions
Jon Jones may have come into prominence quickly, but one thing he has shown is an intuitive grasp of both the fundamentals of wrestling and submissions.
He’s out-grappled everyone he’s faced, no matter their pedigree. From BJJ black belts like Machida to collegiate wrestling standouts like Evans, Jones has proven his is the superior game when it comes to grappling.
And this area of his game is going to keep on increasing with experience.
Considering how formidable it is now, that is a scary thought.
When it comes to striking, what Jones may lack in pure KO power he more than makes up for by being totally unpredictable.
Sure, we know those push kicks and spinning back elbows are coming, but we don’t know when, or from what angle.
And that’s not all he uses. He also has proven himself apt at utilizing the more basic tools of the standup game: the jab, feints, etc.
With Jones, it seems each fight is a display of some new discovery he has made in the realm of striking, and even though we may have seen some of these things before, we’ve never really seen them employed so daringly or creatively.
Jon Jones feels he has a destiny, and clearly he has no intention of letting anyone or anything stand in his way.
When a man as young as Jones is thrown into the fire as quickly as he has been, he is able to find the steel within himself straight away, and that is where much of his “cocky” attitude comes from.
But it’s not cocky to want to be the best, it’s an ambition.
Jones wants to see his ambition achieved, and his desire to be the best ever will help sustain him during those hard times that every fighter faces.
It will also help him reinvent himself on a continual basis, which is going to keep his opponents guessing and the rest of us watching.
And from the looks of things, we’ll be watching for a long, long time.