Certain sections of the MMA fraternity are of the impression that Jon Jones' reach, height and size are the reasons he's attained the status of UFC 205-pound champion, however, that's a view I fail to share.
Sure, his 6'4" frame and 84.5-inch reach has in some respects enabled him to achieve a certain level of success thus far in his career, but by no means has it been the alpha and omega of all his accomplishments.
Take Stefan Struve for instance. The Dutch combatant is 6'11" with a reach equivalent to the one "Bones" Jones has at his disposal.
And regardless of what division he fights in (heavyweight), on five occasions said attributes were ineffective, albeit he was facing off against much shorter adversaries with sometimes less arm reach than himself.
Several of those combatants include Junior dos Santos (6'4" with a 77-inch reach), Roy Nelson (6'0" with a 73-inch reach) and Travis Browne (6'7" with a 78-inch reach).
In comparison, here's a quick look at Jones' conquests—Mauricio Rua (6'0" with a 73-inch reach), Quinton Jackson (6'1" with a 73-inch reach), Lyoto Machida (6'1"with a 74-inch reach) and Rashad Evans (5'11" with a 75-inch reach).
Before you say "Skyscraper" lacks the same skill set akin to Jones or that his cumbersomeness has hindered his progress, remember, even with inherent talent, proficiency in any discipline first has to be acquired and honed to the best of that individual's ability; something the phenom has done and continues to do en route to MMA greatness.
Furthermore, another debate that arises is the fact Jones is too big for his weight class and therefore has an advantage over his oftentimes smaller opponents. His naysayer's solution to this problem is for Jones to ply his trade amongst the heavy-hitters, a class above him.
With regard to size, did Cain Velasquez's 240 pounds prevent him from overwhelming such behemoths as Brock Lesnar and Antonio Silva, who both weighed in the region of 265 pounds?
Or what about Dan Henderson, who weighed in at just 207 pounds, when he stopped the much heavier (223 pounds) Fedor Emelianenko?
No doubt when Jones derails Henderson's title ambitions at UFC 151, the whole height, reach and size discussion will rear its ugly head again.
Truth be told, we'll never know for sure how Jones would've fared if he'd possessed the same corporeal traits as his fellow 205-pounders.
Nevertheless, a fighter's overall makeup isn't and can't be solely determined by their physical attributes—psychosomatics also plays its part.
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