UFC 135 Fight Card: What Can We Expect to See from Jon Jones?
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones is set to defend his title for the first time in just a few hours against former champ Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
Over the past couple years, Jones has proved to be one of the most dynamic and unpredictable fighters in mixed martial arts.
With each performance, his set of skills broadens and his air of indestructibility becomes more and more undeniable.
So, coming off the biggest win of his career and heading into his most important fight so far, what can we expect to see from Jon Jones?
In short, we can expect Jones to do essentially the same thing he did to Vladimir Matyushenko, Brandon Vera and Matt Hamill—he's going to take this fight to the ground and pound him out.
Unlike Jones, Rampage is very predictable, which makes game planning for him simple.
Rampage is primarily a boxer, throws very few—if any—kicks and has good defensive wrestling.
Jones could probably do well against Rampage on the feet, given his unbelievably long reach, but I'd be willing to bet that his trainer Greg Jackson will want him to take the fight where he'll have the greatest advantage.
The only thing Jones has to fear is Rampage's punching power, and taking him to the ground eliminates that threat.
As I mentioned, Rampage does have good defensive wrestling, but not good enough to contend with Jones' takedowns, which no one has come close to stopping so far.
Jones will test his stand up against Rampage for a few minutes and then take this fight to the ground. Due to his gigantic reach, Jones can land shots effectively from guard, and that will be Rampage's demise.
We saw in Rampage's fights with Rashad Evans and Forrest Griffin that he has no offense off of his back, and Jones has a more dominant top game than Evans and Griffin.
Rampage has a solid chin, but the human skull can only take so much punishment.
I'm expecting Jones to finish this one inside of two rounds.
The only problems Jones had in his last fight were that he was a little hesitant to pull the trigger from top position and his cardio looked sub par.
Without a doubt, Jackson will have noticed Jones' lacking cardio and patched up that hole, and, with all the confidence Jones has built up from his last victory, I don't see him hesitating to pull the trigger.
There are fighters in the light heavyweight division who would pose problems for Jones, but I don't think Rampage is one of them.
Jones wins this one by bringing it to the mat and mercilessly pounding Rampage.
Be sure to check out Bleacher Report for all things UFC 135. B/R is your home for MMA, from pre-fight predictions to in-fight coverage, and post-fight analysis...which you can check out at our event hub.
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