Now this is a very close match in the areas of age and style, and to be honest, Junior dos Santos looks to be one of the few fighters out there that could give Jon Jones problems and quite possibly knock him out.
Why? The answer is pressure—total and unrelenting pressure.
Dos Santos is about one thing: the knock out. His entire career is based upon this, and in many ways it is his religion, because he has faith that he can deliver the goods. He delivers them best at high speed, going for broke, and that equals pressure.
And that is one thing we’ve never seen Jones have to deal with.
Thus far, it seems that every one of Jones opponents has tried to out-think and out-maneuver Jones instead of out-fighting him. They all come out, trying to find the right angle or the feint, and all the time they spend looking for that perfect angle or feint, Jones is racking up points and doing some fight math of his own.
Dos Santos wouldn’t suffer from that kind of poor game plan, and that would make this a fight for the ages.
I actually see this as two fights. In the first fight, dos Santos is scoring on the feet and winning the fight there, while Jones wins a few rounds with long range attacks and some takedowns that score points but don’t really place him in a dominant position to finish. Dos Santos is the aggressor, and Jones is the counter fighter, and in the first fight, the aggressor wins because he’s imposing on Jones something he’s never had to deal with before. If dos Santos had more experience in striking against someone as elusive as Jones in the world of MMA, I’d say he wins this by KO for sure. But in this case…
Winner: dos Santos via KO in Round 4 or UD (48-47 on all three cards).
In the second fight, the game plan of dos Santos remains the same: attack, attack, attack.
But this time, Jones isn’t unprepared and puts his reach to good use by being equally aggressive with long range striking attacks such as hard front kicks to the chest and head of dos Santos, a steady, stiff jab and a strong right hand behind it.
After being hurt by the hands of dos Santos in their first fight, Jones shows he’s incredibly motivated to give rather than receive the second time around.
Does any of that hurt dos Santos? Not really, but it does slow his attacks and makes him cover up enough to allow Jones to grab him and toss him to the mat, get top position and go to work ripping into dos Santos face with brutal elbows while maintaining top control through out.
Once again, the reach and leverage of Jones come into play, heavily, and see him secure the day and the victory in the rematch.
Winner of rematch: Jones via UD (49-46 on all three cards)