MMA: 10 Fighters Who Might Be Able To Derail the Jon Jones Hype Train

Andrew MahlmannCorrespondent IFebruary 1, 2011

MMA: 10 Fighters Who Might Be Able To Derail the Jon Jones Hype Train

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    No one in MMA is truly unstoppable, but sometimes, some guys, really look unstoppable.  Jon "Bones" Jones is one of those guys.

    Jones made his professional debut in 2008 and had fought in four UFC fights by the end of 2009.  That is progress with an unheard of precedent. 

    The momentum didn't slow there.  Jones headlined his two fights in 2010, and absolutely blew his opposition out of the water.

    His stand-up is flashy and unpredictable.  His wrestling is versatile and explosive.  Even his Brazilian jiu-jitsu game is coming along nicely and proven more advanced than most of his wrestling contemporaries.  

    So can Jones be stopped?  Hypothetically.

    It looks like Jones has no weaknesses, but we don't know if can grapple against a more seasoned jiu-jitsu practitioner.  He also seemed to slow down late in his fight against Bonnar, so maybe his cardio is something that could be exploited.

    Here are 10 fighters who might be able to derail the Jon Jones hype train.

Ryan Bader

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    Jones' next test will be up against another young MMA superstar, and he has yet to be stopped.

    Although Ryan Bader seems like he fits the mold of fighter that Jones had no problems with in Matt Hamill and Vladimir Matyushenko, he is a better version.

    Bader is young and learning, and he is more powerful than anyone Jones has faced so far.

    He has knockout power and if anyone in the light heavyweight division can get on top of Jones and control him from the guard, Bader can.

Phil Davis

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    Phil Davis is a lot like Ryan Bader and Jon Jones in that he is a hot young wrestling prospect.  Although not as dangerous on the feet as Bader, Davis has taken to Brazilian jiu-jitsu in a very impressive way.

    Being a NCAA wrestling champion and elite submission fighter makes Davis a very real threat to the rising star of Jon Jones.

Roger Gracie

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    Roger Gracie is the most accomplished Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner in the world.  No one in their right mind would want to tangle with Roger on the ground.

    He is a very large light heavyweight, about the same size as Jones.  

    Roger is looking for a challenge, as well.  In MMA, Roger has faced four veteran fighters and submitted them all. 

Gegard Mousasi

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    One of the more internationally seasoned veterans in MMA today, and he is only 25 years old.  

    An intelligent fighter who knows how to finish when he smells blood, Gegard Mousasi has been to a decision only twice out of his 30 career victories.

Alistair Overeem

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    If Jon Jones moves up to heavyweight, he might want to replicate a man with a similar frame who made a similar move.  

    Years ago, Alistair Overeem was a tall, lanky light heavyweight.  Aided by foods rich in protein, like horse meat, Overeem has become an indomitable mountain of muscle at heavyweight.

    Alistair is a top-10 ranked heavyweight who can give any man in the world a run for their money.  

Stefan Struve

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    Being a big light heavyweight, and having a great wrestling base, Jon Jones could make the jump to heavyweight and have some success stifling the wrestling of guys like Cain Velasquez and Brock Lesnar.

    Could he stifle the one man in the UFC with a greater reach than him?  Another young guy, Stefan "Skyscraper" Struve is 6'11'', an adept kickboxer and a talented submission grappler.

    With his size and strength, it would not be easy to put Stefan Struve away, and he has shown an incredible ability to fight through adversity (provided the ref and doctors allow him).  That could spell trouble for Jones late in the fight if he does not pace himself properly. 

Lyoto Machida

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    One man who would be more than happy to remove an unstoppable looking fighter from his pedestal is former champion Lyoto Machida.

    Not too long ago Machida himself was deemed unstoppable, but stumbled in recent bouts.  However, he is not to be overlooked by anybody.

    Machida has been training in a range of martial arts since childhood and is still the craftiest fighter in the UFC today.

Roy Nelson

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    I really really would love to see Jon Jones try and suplex Roy Nelson.

    "Big Country" Nelson is a deceivingly talented fighter.  

    He has very good power in his punches and his positional grappling is some of the best in the heavyweight division.

    Both men love to render their opponents helpless in the crucifix position.  Could Jones find a way to outfox the veteran?

Anderson Silva

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    One proven way to derail a hype train is bringing in middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

    Jones would enjoy an advantage in size and youth, but the experience and technical background of Silva would cause major problems for Jones.

    Silva might prove to be too smart for the young upstart and is also the only man who can surpass Jones' creativity and unpredictability in striking.

Light Heavyweight Champion: Mauricio Rua

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    This is a dream matchup.  Champion Mauricio Rua has slick Brazilian jiu-jitsu and is a relentless Muay Thai machine.

    Jones would probably look to dominate by using his wrestling, but the risk of submission would be ever present.

    Rua would push the pace standing and has what it takes to drag the young star into deep waters.  

Who Else?

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    Who else do you think could be put on this list?  Do you think Jon Jones is unbeatable?

    Let's hear what you have to say in the comments!