UFC 152: How Long Will Jon Jones' Title Reign Last?

James MacDonaldFeatured ColumnistSeptember 21, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 21:  Jon Jones (R) punches Rashad Evans during their light heavyweight title bout for UFC 145 at Philips Arena on April 21, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Rare is the champion who can hold onto the UFC’s light heavyweight title for an extended period of time. Indeed, most have fallen at the opening hurdle. However, Jon “Bones” Jones has fended off challengers with all the difficulty of a man swatting some mildly irritating flies.

Given his serene progress to date, one wonders exactly how long the divisive 25-year-old will be able to hold onto the 205-pound strap. On current evidence, the answer would appear to be: “For as long as he feels like it.”

His biggest test to date came against Lyoto Machida, who managed to—wait for it—land a couple of solid counters and arguably take the opening round. Unfortunately for the urine-loving Brazilian, Jones woke up, figuratively speaking, in the second round and put Machida to sleep, quite literally.

It is fair to say that Jones has not really been tested since, bizarrely, Stephan Bonnar trudged forward for three rounds—in between being ragdolled—and took everything the former JUCO national champion wrestler could throw at him.

Realistically, who is left for Jones to beat up at light heavyweight—I mean, besides Vitor Belfort? Well, “Shogun” eventually wants another crack at the kid who beat him up, gave him a wedgie and stuffed him in a figurative school locker.

But if you have been listening to Dana White’s frequent diatribes over the past few months, you may have noticed that he isn’t too keen on “Shogun” right now. Indeed, he’s just below Jones on the UFC President’s, ahem, hitlist ever since he turned down a fight with Glover Teixeira.

Speaking of Teixeira, he could be a legitimate threat to “Bones” in the future, assuming he ever gets to fight someone on the UFC roster who boasts some sort of profile. Similarly, Alexander Gustafsson could present problems down the line, given his height and athleticism.

Unfortunately, both would appear to be some way down the pecking order—a bit of a mystery in Gustafsson’s case.

The only real obstacle to Jon Jones’ potentially indefinite reign as 205-pound king would be a bout with Daniel Cormier, who has expressed some interest in dropping down in weight if Cain Velasquez is able to redeem himself against Junior dos Santos.

Now, that would be an intriguing bout. An Olympic-caliber wrestler with quite outstanding MMA boxing is bound to be a threat to anyone in either of the UFC’s heaviest divisions. That includes the seemingly unflappable Jones, who has only ever had his back on the mat voluntarily.

As already stated, though, there is still some doubt as to whether this fight will even take place. Heck, Jones may decide to just move up to heavyweight if/when he breaks Tito Ortiz’s title defence record and allow the also-rans to fight over the 205-pound belt.

One thing is for sure, if challengers continue to be dismissed with comical ease, fight venues may need to widen the entrances just so Jones’ head can fight through the door.