Why Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones Is the Superfight We Want to See
The Unstoppable force vs the immovable object. One vs. Two. The best vs. the best.
Not often do fans of combat sports get to see two guys at the very pinnacle of the sport compete for the ultimate crown of being the best. We could possibly be on the verge of just that.
Granted, Anderson Silva has a tough matchup in front of him in Chael Sonnen. And no matter what you think about Chael as a person, if he's learned anything about stopping the triangle, he could very well walk out of Vegas the new Middleweight Champion.
Jones has a tough task of his own as one of the best ever, Dan Henderson, aims to be one overhand right away from his first UFC championship.
But let's look past that for a second and say that both defend their belts. Shouldn't they fight each other? And if they did, what would it show about both men and the sport in general?
There's No Better Option
How does Silva vs. Munoz sound to you? How about Jones vs. Gustafsson? Both guys need a couple of wins to be considered No. 1 contenders but even if they get those wins, will we buy it like we'll buy Silva vs. Jones? Of course not.
The fact of the matter is that with a victory in each of their next fights, both guys will be maybe a win away from cleaning out their division.
If Jones defeats Henderson, then according to Sherdog's Light Heavyweight Rankings, Jones will have beaten the top five contenders to his belt with the sixth being none other than Phil Davis, who already got defeated by Rashad Evans.
So it won't be far-fetched to say that Jones has no real challengers for his Light Heavyweight Title. Of course you could look at rematches, but no one has even come close to defeating Jones in his entire MMA career.
As for Silva, he has had a close encounter with none other than Chael P. Sonnen. Because of that of course he'll rematch the outspoken Oregonian.
After Sonnen, the list of challengers gets really thin. Of course, you could go with Hector Lombard if and when he gets past Brian Stann. But nonetheless, the line of challengers gets dangerously thin once you get past the current challengers for both men.
Which Style Is Best?
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Jon Jones fights for Jackson's MMA and trains at the same gym as many top-level guys such as the Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and Interim UFC Welterweight champion Carlos Condit.
One thing that these guys all have in common is game planning. Extensively studying their opponent and formulating a plan to defeat those opponents. They exploit key weaknesses in their opponents' game while attempting to keep the fight where they want it to be.
Sometimes you'll see more of a wrestle-heavy or judo approach like against Bonnar, or you'll see him come out and attempt to take apart his opponent on the feet like against Evans. Unorthodox striking is his signature and he has some of the deadliest elbows in the game.
Anderson Silva fights with Black House, and his style is to impose his will on his opponent. When the first UFC was fought, the idea was for everyone who's mastered their respective combat sport to come together and see which is the best.
Kickboxers had no answer for guys who implemented takedowns, and wrestlers weren't so great with their hands in the standup. It was whoever could impose their will on the other.
That's how Anderson Silva fights. He wants to keep the fight standing and pick you apart with accurate, powerful striking. You won't see him come out in a fight and shoot to get a fight down. He has a style that he's true to.
So with that being said, it will be interesting to see just which style is more successful. Impose your will, or gameplan.
Just How Good Is Jon Jones' Chin?
If you want a good litmus test of how this fight would look, watch the first round of Jones vs. Lyoto Machida. Jones' unorthodox striking and creativity was negated by Machida's heavy counter striking and at one point Machida clipped Jones pretty good as he came in.
In his career, Jones connects on 51 percent of his strikes. In that first round Jones was 8/27 for 30 percent.
Silva comes from the same ilk of counter striking as Machida. And as a result, if Jones doesn't opt for a wrestle-heavy approach, he'll find himself having the same problem hitting Silva as he did with Machida.
What's going to be interesting to see is when Jones gets countered by one of Silva's strong, accurate strikes. Does he have the chin to withstand it?
Can Silva Handle Jones' Wrestling?
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Jon Jones has some of the very best wrestling in MMA. With his 62.9 percent takedown accuracy and 100 percent takedown defense, he ranks up there as one of the very best at putting others on their back while keeping himself off of his own.
Silva boasts a nice 69 percent takedown defense and in 23 minutes against strong wrestler Chael Sonnen he was only taken down three times.
Silva's Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has bailed him out on plenty of occasions but it will be interesting to see what happens if and when Jones has Silva down and how he deals with Jones' dangerous elbows.
Who's the Best Fighter in the World?
No matter which website or magazine you look at, Silva and Jones are top three in the world. Most have Silva at No. 1 and Jones at three, while some rank Jones at No. 2. But nonetheless the winner of this fight will undoubtedly be the top MMA fighter in the world and possibly even the best ever.
Just think if Jon Jones wins this fight. He'll have beaten Shogun, Rampage, Machida, Evans, Henderson, then Silva. Who has a resume like that? Pretty much a who's who of MMA. Very worthy of best ever status as it comes to resumes.
As for Silva, many already consider him to be the greatest fighter ever. But to add Jones' name to his list of victims will only cement that status and leave no doubt of who the greatest ever truly is.
Can MMA Become Mainstream?
If this fight does indeed go down, nothing less than record-breaking numbers would and should be looked on as a complete failure.
Quite frankly, if this fight doesn't move the needle for MMA, nothing will. Point blank. This will be the fight that determines if the UFC has any shot at all at becoming mainstream. They should go all out and do it in Cowboys Stadium and just go for the jugular. Make it the most successful MMA program ever.
This fight can define everything regardless of outcome. That's why it must happen as soon as possible. Because this is the one fight that can change everything.