Not many voices in combat sports come any bigger--literally--than that of Bruce Buffer.
About two months ago, the UFC ring announcer took it upon himself to make waves with a little freelance announcement: light heavyweight Jon Jones "in the next six years not only will become a champion, he will become the Muhammad Ali of our organization."
And this was before Jones broke down Shogun Rua at UFC 128 to capture the light heavyweight title.
Bruce was just having fun when he made the statement (when is he not?). But given Jones' mind-bending run to the championship, Buffer is far from the only one broaching the subject. Now that Jones has the belt, the debate is growing ever louder.
Is Jon Jones the Muhammad Ali of mixed martial arts? Is he destined to be the greatest of all time? Is it fair to compare him to Ali?
Depending on when and where these questions come up, they can cause a lot of different reactions. Eyes roll. Mouths turn up. Forehead veins twitch. Stomachs churn. Jones is too young, comes the response. He hasn't fought anyone. He's "just an athlete." People claim sacrilege when Ali's name is even mentioned in a comparison scenario.
But given the way Jones mows people down, it's clear the question isn't going away. So let's cut the wheat from the chaff, shall we? It's time to take an objective look at the facts as they exist right now when comparing young Bones Jones against The Greatest of All Time.
I've broken it into 10 categories. Please enjoy.