Transcendent athletes are few and far between, sometimes arriving once per generation. By all measures, they're mere mortals—ostensibly no different than any of us. They, too, are made of flesh and blood.
But that doesn't explain why they're capable of such feats of athleticism, does it?
They breathe a rarified air. They know there are limitations in effect—they just choose to ignore them and press forward.
MMA has had its fair share of fighters that reached for the stratosphere and nearly punctured its upper limits—Fedor Emelianenko and Anderson Silva are part of an elite few that redefined the potential for a fighter.
But then there's Jon Jones.
Emelianenko's unbeaten streak doubles the present length of Jones' career. Anderson Silva was demoralizing opponents long before the notion of competitive fighting had even entered the young champion's mind.
Why, then, is this 25-year-old wunderkind constantly discussed in the company of such giants?
Jones is built from a similar mold as that of many MMA greats—physically daunting, unpredictable, and supremely confident. With each consecutive victory, he pays homage to their prior successes. He does, after all, tread upon the foundation they've sacrificed blood, sweat, and tears to build.
But "Bones" only shares their mold at this juncture in his championship reign. What's to come is far more daunting. He morphs and evolves at an unprecedented rate—the fighter he is in 2013 will pale in comparison to the fighter he'll be the year after.
He's quickly filling the cracks in that mold—plugging up any holes in a quest for nothing less than invincibility.
When he finds solace and satisfaction in his accomplishments, Jones will have marked his place in history as the most dominant fighter to have ever competed.