In baseball, the five-tool player is considered the ultimate expression of the art, God's perfect gift to the diamond. He's a player that can hit for average, power, run like the wind, has a an arm that throws bullets, and knows which hand to put the glove on. These creatures are near myth—but they exist, coming along just a few times every generation. Mickey Mantle was one. So was Ken Griffey Jr.
There have been plenty of great fighters in the short history of mixed martial arts, men and women who have imposed their wills on opponents. But the five-tool fighter has only been a product of our imagination. Bruce Lee was one. Maybe. Probably. So was Rickson Gracie, at least in legend.
In the realm of the quantifiable, even our greatest warriors were missing a tool from the complete fighter's tool box. They simply made up for it by being uniquely great in another area. Matt Hughes, for example, didn't own a screwdriver. But he had the biggest hammer in the neighborhood, and really, who needs more than that?
Enter Jon Jones.
The 25-year-old light heavyweight champion can do it all, and do it as well as anyone in MMA history. We'll see Jones in action later this month when he defends his crown against Vitor Belfort. That's fitting in a way. Belfort was once known as the "Phenom." Many thought he would redefine what it meant to be a mixed martial artists. Instead, he's suffered through an up and down career.
Jones is the new wunderkind. His potential is through the roof, his skills expanding and morphing with every fight. Already he's something new, a hybrid, a fighter capable of doing anything he (or a coach) wants to do.
Imagine that. This is a man who can do anything, wreak uncomfortable levels of havoc on opponents, change lives and a rival's well being in the blink of an eye. Jon Jones, as he exists in the moment, is the best fighter in UFC history.
These are the five reasons why.