UFC 128 Fight Card: "Shogun" Rua Vs. "Bones" Jones…How It Will Go Down
I remember, many moons ago in my early teens, my brother would come home from work with CD's full of these wild fights from Japan. I would watch in amazement as fighters kicked their opponents in the head while they were on the ground and choked each other unconscious.
I remember being very disappointed if their was no footage of the infamous Chute-boxe fighters; like everyone else, I could've watched Wanderlei Silva and Mauricio Rua fighting all day.
As a fan of the old guard of MMA, tonight's main event is quite a terrifying state of affairs with undoubtedly the most talented young fighter in the sport vying for Shogun's light heavyweight championship.
I think as the fight begins, Jones will try and see if he can use his massive reach advantage to land a few punches on the Brazilian. If that proves to be successful, he will have gotten inside the Champion's head, who believes he has a clear advantage in the stand up game.
Indeed Shogun has every right to believe he has the advantage on his feet, with the champion boasting a highlight reel that would make any fighter jealous. He will look to land leg strikes, to take away the spring in Jones' shoot, before going head hunting- something the former Chute-boxe man is excellent at.
"Keeping the belt is the top priority in my life", says the Champ, "I stay away from my family, I stay away from my friends; focusing 100% on preparation. This is the most important fight of my life."
What happens if Jones takes it to the ground?
Jones is one of the most dominant fighters in the UFC as far as top games are concerned. Shogun has clung to his past experience when media have confronted him about this possibility.
"Everytime Machida took me down, I managed to get back up", shrugged the champ.
This will be a different situation completely, in my opinion. Jones' transitions are off the chart, and he's fond of getting himself into the crucifix position: one of the single most dominating positions for the person on top, and the most defenseless for the person on bottom. Jones has also showed UFC fans a variety of unique submissions, making him a dangerous fighter wherever the fight goes.
Rua has the advantage in jiu jitsu if the fight goes to the ground, but this is purely on paper in my opinion, having been absolutely stunned by Jones' ground game. Rafael Cordeiro and Wanderlei Silva believe that Shogun will exploit this advantage and win the fight with a leg lock, as he did with Kevin Randleman five years ago, securing a knee bar on his muscle bound wrestling based opponent.
"I think Shogun will submit his leg", smiles Wanderlei, former team mate and training partner of Rua's.
"I think Jon Jones is a great athlete, but to face Shogun today- you can't use a parameter for that", claims Cordeiro.
I'm very reluctant to make a call for this one, my heart says Shogun and my head says Jones.
This much I will say...if Jones wins this fight he will go on to dominate the weight division for years to come. If Shogun wins, lets see Anderson go up and take on his former team mate.That would be one hell of a fight.
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