Jones vs. Belfort: Questions We Still Have About Jon Jones

Nathan McCarter@McCarterNFeatured ColumnistSeptember 25, 2012

Jones vs. Belfort: Questions We Still Have About Jon Jones

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    Jon Jones defended his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship in another dominating performance at UFC 152.

    Vitor Belfort had one shot to dethrone the champion, but the first-round armbar attempt was just a little bit off, allowing Jones to get through the pain and start dealing out his punishment.

    After getting out of the armbar, Jones dropped several damaging elbows to the dome of Belfort. He continued to batter him on the feet and on the ground until the fourth round.

    It was there that Jones put the tired Belfort away. A simple Americana was all it took from the champion, and as a result, the belt remains around his waist. And it does not look as if it is going anywhere anytime soon. Yet Belfort was able to bring another question up regarding Jones.

    Here are five questions we still have about the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion.

Submission Defense

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    UFC 152 was not the first time Jones has left one of his limbs available for a submission, but it was the first time an opponent was able to capitalize on it.

    Would a more aggressive and proficient jiu-jitsu practitioner be able to snatch one of his limbs? Possibly.

    Jones' long appendages make for enticing targets, but thus far he has been able to avoid being caught. He stopped Vera from getting an arm, Shogun was unable to dive under for a leg and Belfort was just a bit off in his attempt.

    Unfortunately, we may not get to see what an aggressive jiu-jitsu expert would be able to do against Jones. The light heavyweight contenders are primarily strikers, regardless of their belt rank.


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    The champion has yet to be pushed.

    In all of his fights, he has dominated, and when he enters the championship rounds, he is merely winded from beating on his opponent.

    What will happen when someone is able to return fire on the champion? How will he look in the championship rounds then? A big question we would all love to see answered.

    Jones' domination is impressive, but fans are awaiting his equal to push him and make him work.

    If "Bones" is able to continue his run atop the division in this fashion, it will be astonishing, but he needs a foil at some point in his career. All the greats have one.

What Happens When He Is Reactionary?

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    Jones is always pushing the action. He makes his opponents react to what he is doing.

    Each of his opponents have looked at him in amazement while he picks them apart. As if they were trying to figure out how to attack but could never come up with an answer.

    We have yet to see someone move forward on Jones and force him to react to them. How will Jones handle that scenario?

    Many thought we might see that with Belfort. Had Belfort bum-rushed the champion how would he have responded to the pressure? Is there a fighter out there that can make Jones become a reactionary fighter?

    If there is one thing Jones has made obvious in his run as champion, it is that you can not sit back and allow him to dictate the action. Bring the fight to him.

Can He Handle the Pressure?

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    The fame and pressure of being the champion is still relatively new to Jones.

    Recently, he had been busted for DUI, and Jones thinks that has helped him:

    “I believe in some cases MMA fans, and just fans of sports in general, have short memories. I actually believe my DUI set me free in some ways. It set me free from a lot of fan expectation. I was definitely coming into a sport as a young man trying to be perfect for people, and that's why people call me fake. I wasn't doing myself justice at all,” Jones said when speaking to Rogan during the UFC 152 prelims on FX.

    Now, he is back on track. With a big sponsorship deal with Nike.

    Jones is back in the spotlight, carrying PPV cards and still having to defend his title inside the Octagon. It is a lot for one man to bear. Thus far, Jones has been up to the task, even with his brief bit of stupidity.

    Can he learn from his mistakes? Time will tell.

Who's Next?

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    The biggest question surrounding Jones is who exactly is next?

    The contender who won the No. 1 contendership was Lyoto Machida. But we have already seen Jones choke him out and drop him like a bad habit, and the challenger turned down the title fight.

    Dan Henderson was the No. 1 contender before injury, but now it seems as if Machida may be next.

    Who does that leave? Is there anyone outside of Chael Sonnen willing to step up?

    Perhaps 2013 will give the fans Jones vs. Sonnen. That was an exciting possibility before when Jones turned it down for UFC 151, and no one else is in line for the next shot at Jones. Forrest Griffin may have something to say about that when he meets Sonnen later this year.

    The list of contenders is thin. The biggest question is, who will be next in line?