Jon Jones came up with a spectacular performance against Quinton Jackson at UFC 135. Jackson was finished for the first time in his UFC career and although he claimed to have come in in the best shape of his life, Jones still put on a clinic.
Jones dominated the majority of the fight, using the clinch to keep Jackson's hands down, while when Jackson tried to go on the offensive, Jones evaded all attempts.
The fourth-round finish was just amazing as Jones showed impressive quickness getting Jackson against the fence and transitioning to back position and seeping the arm under the neck instantly. Jones easily got in the hooks, flattened Jackson out and Jackson was forced to tap.
There have been rumblings of Anderson Silva coming back to the light-heavyweight division and a superfight with Jones would sell out a building and perhaps be the biggest event in UFC history.
Of course, a Silva superfight with Georges St. Pierre is something the UFC has been talking about for a while, but St. Pierre seems content going through a new crop of welterweights coming over from Strikeforce, so he should be good for a while.
That leaves Silva and Jones to be competing in a bout to determine pound-for-pound supremacy. Jones has Rashad Evans next but after that, a Silva fight would be excellent.
Jones showed tonight that he could very well dominate a bout with the middleweight champion.
Anderson Silva has spent the majority of his career fighting opponents that he could drop his hands for and still strike at the right time.
Jones isn't a guy you want to do that to because he will do it right back.
Silva has never come against an opponent that can mirror his style quite like Jones.
As you saw tonight, Jones dropped his hands and Rampage didn't move in. Again, very similar to what we've been hearing from every Silva fight since he won the middleweight title.
Both fighters are well-rounded on the feet and on the ground, and Jones will be willing to go anywhere in this fight, something Silva is not used to.
Also, even if Silva pushes the pace, we have learned that a fight can end in a moment's notice, just like Silva learned against Ryo Chonan.
He's used to fighting wrestlers as of late, guys who want to avoid the striking ability of Silva, but there is another factor in the striking game between these two.
Simple math will show that an 84.5" reach will topple a man with a 77" reach in an instant.
Silva will have to get inside the reach if he wants to do damage, because Jones' radar for danger is quite good. He can sense when he is in trouble and he gets out of it, though he ran around the Octagon more tonight because of Rampage's advances.
Silva may get agitated at this and do what he did to Demian Maia at UFC 111, when Silva taunted his challenger, albeit Silva wasn't doing much to finish the fight anyway, but he won't have to worry about Jones.
It really is simple math: Jones can land a strike from the same distance that when Silva throws, he barely grazes the air Jones is breathing.
In his last two fights, Jon Jones has proven that when it comes to striking, he is world class. When he submitted Rampage, he proved that he can work the ground quite well and sink in a submission faster than the speed of light.
With all this, Jones is growing and gaining more confidence. He gets better in every fight and keep in mind: he is only 24.
Silva may have all the confidence in the world to drop his hands in front of all his opponents but running into a confident light-heavyweight champion might just force him to think twice about strategy.
Of course, Jones and Silva are phenomenal strikers but the one aspect that lacks in Silva's game is on the next slide and could prove to he the Achilles heel in the middleweight champion's repertoire.
We were all witness to the wrestling clinic that Chael Sonnen put on Silva in their bout. Silva did squeak out a win, but the damage was done.
Jones is a former high school wrestling standout and a former state champion. If he can go back to his roots and bring out his wrestling, Jones can control the majority of the fight.
Keeping Silva's striking in check will be key and if he can bring Silva to the ground and force him to avoid submissions all night, Jones could grind out a decision or actually sink in the submission that forces Silva to tap out for the first time since Ryo Chonan's flying heel hook on New Year's Eve 2004.
If anyone can finish Silva, it is Jones, so how do you think Jones would fare against arguably the greatest fighter of our time?