The sport of mixed martial arts evolves more and more every day. So does each fighter, regardless of whether they are just turning pro in an independent scene or are somewhere near the top of the UFC. The same can be said about each champion in the UFC, but the focus right now is the Light Heavyweight Champion—Jon Jones.
It's quite crazy to think how much he has improved and evolved since his debut in August of 2008. You hear the cliche that, "fighter X improves every fight," but no fighter personifies that saying more than Jones who honestly has looked better every time he has stepped inside the Octagon.
Jon Jones has a record of 17-1, but no matter your opinion on the loss to Matt Hamill, Jon Jones has never really been defeated. He's never been truly tested either in a full fight. The closest we've seen is Vitor Belfort's armbar attempt a few weeks back at UFC 152.
Following that brief moment when the entire MMA world held their breath, Jones survived and dominated Belfort on his way to a fourth-round submission win.
Jon Jones has six submission victories in his MMA career with two coming in his last three fights against Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belts. We often see black belts get submitted in the UFC, but usually by fellow BJJ black belts. Certainly not by a guy who has only been a pro for about four years and is said to be just a gi white belt in BJJ.
How much better can Jon Jones really get? Many of the top up-and-coming light heavyweights are hoping that the answer is "not much better" or at least that he'll improve mostly following his jump to heavyweight, but that's simply not the case.
Jones will continue to get stronger as he is still growing into his body. Jones will also continue to learn as he spends more time in the gym working on his BJJ and also, from spending time inside the Octagon as Jones is one of the more active fighters at 205.
With that said, it's clear that Jon Jones will continue to get better. If his primary focus is on MMA, in as short as three years, we will likely be talking about Jones being the greatest mixed martial artist who ever lived, and he'll still only be 28 years old.
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