Analyzing the Jon Jones Situation

Darren WongSenior Analyst IDecember 6, 2009

LAS VEGAS - JULY 11:  (R-L) Jon Jones connects with a right punch on Jake O'Brein during their light heavyweight bout during UFC 100 on July 11, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jones defeated O'Brein by second round tapout.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Despite losing due to a disqualification, Jon Jones keeps on impressing people.

While his disqualification will end up being little more than an admonition, Jones' actions are a sign that he still needs experience.

The UFC's brightest prospect seems to improve in every single fight, and his fight against Hamill was no different.

In this particular case, what Jones showed is an ability to really capitalize on his wrestling to work towards a finish.

In his fight against Stephen Bonnar, Jones displayed truly dominant wrestling abilities, athleticism, and power.

He threw Bonnar around and controlled him for much of the fight, but still wasn't able to really put Bonnar in any danger with the wrestling.

Jones wasn't really able to advance position on the ground like a jujitsu player and work towards a submission.

Against Jake O'Brien, Jones showed his ability to finish by submission, but still didn't dominate position.

Against Hamill, Jones capitalized on a powerful throw by advancing to the mount and landing enough punches that the fight probably could have been stopped by the referee.

Jon Jones threw about 80 unanswered strikes from the mount, and, although many of them were blocked, it didn't appear that Matt Hamill could do anything but wait for Jon Jones to tire out.

Some people will disagree with me here, but I personally don't think that holding one's arms up in the air really constitutes intelligent defense.

Hamill couldn't escape, and Jones was starting to really hurt him. I'm not even sure if Hamill's eyes were still open at this point.

At about that time, it seemed like Jones started thinking to himself, "What do I have to do to this guy to get the referee to stop this fight?"

Jones really wanted the referee to step in, and it looked like he switched his strikes because he thought maybe if he landed something different that the ref would do just that.

Mazzagatti did step in, but, rather than stopping the fight, he called a foul against Jones.

Unfortunately for Jones, once the foul was called, there was no real way to avoid a disqualification, as Hamill could no longer continue.

The stoppage and the decisions of the referee in this fight will probably be debated for quite some time, as many people feel that Jones did not deserve to be disqualified and should have been awarded the victory.

The case is actually a fairly strange one because of Hamill's deafness.

After the foul was called, Mazzagatti tried to talk to talk to Hamill to see if he could continue.

Hamill was lying there with his eyes closed, probably thinking that the fight had just been stopped and that he had lost. 

In such a case, it makes sense that he would just lie there for a minute to collect himself.

He couldn't hear the foul call or Mazzagatti's prompts, so Mazzagatti probably should have done more to try to communicate with him before calling an end to the fight.

It wouldn't have prevented the stoppage in the end, though, as Hamill suffered an injury to his shoulder when he was thrown by Jones, and could no longer continue.

The shoulder injury does make people ask questions about the DQ, since the real fight-ending injury was caused by the throw that was well before the illegal blows.

There are so many good reasons why Jones shouldn't have been disqualified, but in the end, it looks like the commission had no choice but to award a disqualification based on the established rules.

It's one of those cases where I'd like the commission to have a little bit more freedom to make a ruling that recognizes Jones should have won but didn't because of an illegal blow that was delivered with intent, though not malicious.

Ultimately, the loss will only affect Jones financially, as he was deprived of money for the win or any other bonus.

Hopefully, he has enough money that it won't cause problems for his family or for his training.

In terms of his place in the division, Jones will only move up after this fight.

Unlike sports where rankings are based purely on wins and losses, the UFC's rankings are based more upon public opinion.

After this fight, the public opinion is that Jon "Bones" Jones is a dangerous man. He'll only be propelled up in the rankings.

Even if Jones is given a lower-profile fight with a lower profile, he could actually benefit, as it will give him a chance to improve his stand-up.

If he does go up against one of the premier strikers in the division, I could still see him having problems in that area.

If he is given another high-profile match immediately, my hope is for a match against Forrest Griffin.

Griffin is currently a better striker, but more of a volume striker than a power striker.

A fight with Forrest might be the kind of fight that forces Jones to work on improving his striking output in the stand-up, without facing the kind of power threat that he would face against guys like Thiago Silva or Rogerio Nogueira.

If Jones did lose to Forrest, it would still be a valuable experience for the upcoming talent.

I personally hope that he is given a few more fights for development before being thrown into the lion's den. What was still most prominent in his latest fight was his lack of experience.

A more seasoned fighter would not have tried to land those illegal elbows or tried to look to the referee for a stoppage.

A more seasoned fighter would have just finished the job.

The fact that Jones won't make the same mistake again does not take away from the fact that he still needs a lot more experience in the octagon before he really goes for the big prize.

With the admonition given in this fight and the admission that that there is many a slip twixt the cup and the lip, there is much to take out of this fight.

Jones showed with his attitude after the fight that he is exactly the right type of person to really make it big.

He's got the talent and the right kind of mentality, but sometimes there is just no substitute for experience.


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