Jon Jones has exceeded people's expectations in every fight he has been in. Perhaps no fight exemplifies this fact more than his last fight with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Jones dominated Rua in every moment of that fight.
So are the expectations for Jones unreasonable? Absolutely not.
Jones is an awesome specimen of a fighter, and a puzzle that will not be solved for quite some time. His incredible reach advantage makes it incredibly hard for strikers to get inside and hit him, though a few shots have gotten through.
Because of his physical advantage, and his performances in the past, fans should have the highest expectations for Jones until he gives us reason to believe otherwise.
There’s been a lot of talk about Quinton “Rampage” Jackson being Jones’ first “real” test, but that’s what people were saying about Rua. After Rua's sobering loss to Jones, many people have been offering up excuses on behalf of the former champ—degrading Jones' dominant performance in the process.
The truth of the matter is that us fight fans demand a lot of a fighter before we can believe they’re one of the greatest ever. In the short history of this sport, there have been so many fighters that were touted as the future of the sport, but ended up disappointments.
We know Jones is a strong fighter, but we don’t yet know if he has the mental capacity to be a champion. Perhaps the biggest question isn’t whether Jones will lose, but, "how will he respond when he finally does lose?"
It’s completely reasonable to have high expectations for Jon Jones. He made defeating Rua look easy—and Rampage isn’t near the level of fighter that Rua is.
Jackson is, sadly, a one-dimensional fighter. Unless he comes out with a surprising game plan, Jones and his trainers won’t have much trouble preparing for this UFC 135 fight. This isn’t Jones’ first “real” test in the cage, but it is his first fight that will go towards cementing his legacy.
There is no limit to Jones’ potential, and the expectations for him could never be too high. Will Jones be the great fighter that we all want him to be? Or is he lacking the wisdom and patience to be one of the greatest fighters to have ever lived?
The picture that is Jones’ future will become more clear after this Saturday. Make sure you tune in.