The first generation of UFC fighters have come and gone. The second generation is well under way and the third generation is starting to poke its head into the octagon. The first fruits of this battalion is a 23 year old prodigy by the name of Jon "Bones" Jones. The following slideshow will list 5 reasons why he is destined for glory in the world of MMA.
Jones is a sprawling 6' 4" and has a UFC-record freakish reach of 84.5 inches (7 feet). To put things in perspective, he is one inch taller and has a 3.5 inch reach advantage over the heavyweight division's Brock Lesnar.
Jones' physique is a sleak, trim and athletic easy fit for the 205 light heavyweight category. This means he won't be dropping precious pounds to squeeze into his fights and he will therefore keep the spring in his step for fight nights.
Long reaching legs and arms attached to a well built and naturally wiry and light frame presents all sorts of problems for shorter, slower opponents. And that list covers every single opponent in his division...
Jones won a State High School wrestling championship and a National Junior College wrestling title.
He has competed in both freestyle and greco-roman tournaments.
And this is not just good-on-paper credentials, he has been almost 100% in his take-down attempts and has used both traditional freestyle single/doubles as well as flashy greco leg sweeps.
He has performed the highly unusual (and difficult) supplex (see pic) on seasoned MMA vets.
It is not simply the diversity and success of his takedowns that are impressive, but the shear fluidity with which he selects his arsenal, often switching gameplans in mid-attempt.
Extremely diversified, quick and effective takedowns have been a huge problem for past opponents.
The days of Wanderlei Silva's name being synonimous with devastating knees and kicks are soon to be over.
The speed, agility and reach of Jones' knees and kicks are problematic when they come from a Jones that can just as easily switch to a take down or punches in bunches.
The spring in Jones' step coming into the knees is quite frankly stunning and having been historically a pure wrestler, he is only a few years into developing this arsenal.
The future is bright for the lower body arsenal of Jones. Not so bright for the legs, mid sections and head regions of the lightweight division...
Very much like Nick Diaz, Jones' strikes are unorthodox in regards to their angles, timing and speed. Very confusing for opponents.
They are as useful to him in ground and pound as when he stands toe to toe.
He mounted then stopped a grounded Brendan Vera with a well timed elbow and he utilizes these nearly as often as his conventional punches.
He can spin into these devastating elbows or add a slice of them into his punch combos.
He is truly taking the torch from Anderson Silva in showing what a full spectrum of striking can look like when bundled up and pressed into service in unpredictable rotation.
With his 7 foot wingspan and athleticism, Jones' fist reach high speeds and therefore high effectiveness by the time they come onto an opponent's radar screen.
Jon Jones is 23 years old. He was the youngest fighter in the UFC when he signed his contract in 2008.He is still the youngest light heavyweight in contention and will be for at least another 2-3 years.
His naturally ability and extremely diverse striking and grappling still have several years to mature and they are already devastating.
He is Anderson Silva 2.0.
He is the future.