Why Jon Jones Has Nothing Left to Prove at Light Heavyweight
Jon Jones, UFC light heavyweight champion, has absolutely nothing left to prove in the division. None.
Some of you are sitting behind your computer screens or smart phones saying that he still has challenges left. Well, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but he doesn't. He is, and has been, the greatest light heavyweight of all time.
Lets begin by recapping his light heavyweight tenure.
Jones made his debut as a late replacement against a budding prospect in Andre Gusmao. Jones won, and the curiosity level around the sport piqued. From 2009-2010, he would go 4-1 with his lone loss being highly controversial vs. Matt Hamill. Many still view the champion as being undefeated.
After 2010, Jones was already seen as the future of the division, but next to no one expected his rise to be as meteoric. Next to no one expected the single greatest year in division history.
In the span of 11 months, Jones dispatched rising contender Ryan Bader, won the championship on short notice against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, dominated former champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and left former champion Lyoto Machida unconscious on the canvas.
He is 3-0 since that incredible calendar year, and there is nothing left for him in the division. Is it really necessary for him to defend the title once more to break Tito Ortiz's record for fans to know he's the greatest the division has ever seen? No.
Dan Henderson and Alexander Gustafsson seem to be the only challengers left that he has yet to face. Henderson is older, slow and plodding. He has one great strike, and his wrestling is vastly overrated in MMA terms.
Gustafsson is a quality prospect, but one who has already shown holes in his game that Jones would have little problem with.
Don't get me wrong, I would pay to watch those fights. I just would not be paying for competitive action. I would be paying to see Jones' brilliance in the Octagon.
Then there is the inevitable superfight discussion against Anderson Silva. Does that really add to Jones' legacy? Think about it.
Silva is 38 years old. And he is a middleweight. Jones is a freak athlete that is still growing and learning at the ripe age of 25. And he is a light heavyweight.
Jones is supposed to win that fight. Yes, Silva is the greatest we have seen, but weight classes are in place for a reason. Jones' physical gifts are his greatest asset, and he uses them better than the technical skills he is continuing to refine.
I hate to shatter your dreams, but Jones would defeat Silva and make it look easy in the process.
The move to heavyweight is his only great challenge.
The only question Jones has to answer is if he wants to test himself. If he does, he will make the trek to heavyweight. However, that is not an easy decision. It could elevate him to being one of the greatest fighters of all time or alter his current trajectory in a downward fashion. He won't take that decision lightly.
But one thing is for certain...there is nothing left for him to prove at 205 pounds.
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