After Jon Jones dismantled Maricio Rua in March many people were ready to coronate him as an MMA King. Jones drew comparisons to Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Muhammad Ali.
At 23, many saw Jones as a young champion who had the talent to reach limitless excellence.
On Saturday night, Jones proved that all his hype was warranted. He stood at arm’s length and repeatedly punished “Rampage” Jackson with a wild combination of punches, knees, elbows and kicks.
In the fourth round, Jones went in for the kill and submitted “Rampage” Jackson with a rear naked choke at 1:14.
To his credit, Jackson appeared to be an excellent condition and did everything he could to try and get inside but was befuddled as to how to attack Jones.
“I thought it was hype, but he’s the real thing,” said Jackson who was gracious in defeat.
The fight more closely resembled a sparring session than a fight for a world title. Jones skill level is unique and he used those skills to control every second of every round.
It is still too early in Jones career to call him an all-time great but he currently looks unbeatable. He will enjoy a distinctive reach advantage over most opponents and his striking ability combined with his wrestling prowess mask any weaknesses he may have.
Next up for Jones is former training partner Rashad Evans. Neither man had much to say during a face-to-face interview in the cage after Jones victory.
As a former training partner, Evans might have the inside track on how to beat Jones.
The question is not if Evans can find any weaknesses in Jones but if he will be able to exploit them.
As it stands, Jon Jones is the UFC Light Heavyweight champion and what was perceived to be hype is now very real.
Could we be looking at the greatest UFC champion ever? Or are we hyping up Jones too soon? Only time will tell.