With Jon Jones' dominant performance at UFC 135, there were immediate questions regarding the light heavyweight division. Does Rashad Evans have a chance against "Bones"? Does anyone?
While the comparisons to Anderson Silva whenever any fighter looks impressive are overdone, Jones did look a lot like the UFC Middleweight champion. He was doing damage without taking any return. He was unpredictable. He seemed capable of ending the fight whenever he chose to.
Simply, Jones looked unbelievable. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, one of the legends of the sport, could do absolutely nothing to turn the fight in his favor. Jackson was clearly the lesser striker and grappler.
As a result of the manner of Jones' victory over "Rampage," many have begun asking how the youngest champion in the history of the UFC would fare against the best in the heavyweight division.
Given the frame of "Bones," it seems very likely he would transition to heavyweight well. It is very likely that as he ages, he will naturally feel the need to move up in weight as we've seen with Alistair Overeem and Gegard Mousasi. At 6'4", Jones could easily add the weight to necessitate a move to heavyweight.
But even right now in his career, it's hard to deny that Jon Jones could cause some problems for even the greatest of UFC heavyweights.
For one, he'd almost certainly have a speed advantage over everyone in the division. In addition, despite the fact that the heavyweight division has giants like 6'11" Stefan Struve and 6'7" Travis Browne, Jones' 84.5-inch reach is still the longest in the UFC.
One of the scariest things about "Bones" is how well-rounded he is. Not only is he one of the UFC's most unorthodox and talented strikers, he's also one of its best wrestlers and submission artists.
Matching Jones up with Cain Velasquez may seem premature, but it does seem like a winnable fight for the light heavyweight champion theoretically.
Jones would have the reach and speed to hang with Velasquez on the feet. "Bones" would likely have the capability to stay away from the powerful hands of the heavyweight champ, but Velasquez is capable of a much more diverse attack than a fighter like "Rampage" Jackson.
Velasquez does possess some extremely powerful leg kicks, which could spell trouble for Jones and his very thin legs. It is possible that his legs would be a bit thicker with a transition to heavyweight, however.
Velasquez also wouldn't have the same concern to be taken down as "Rampage" because of his impressive wrestling background.
Jon Jones is on another level. He has faced some of the division's best and has won in seemingly effortless fashion. His rapid rate of improvement is also something to be aware of. He's still only 24 years old and made his mixed martial arts debut in April of 2008.
As Joe Rogan stated during the event, "If you watch Jon Jones' first fight in the UFC and then compare his striking now, it is amazing. It is amazing that it has only been a few years because this is like ten years of development. More. It's the way it looks too. He's throwing these techniques expertly."
Jon Jones was one of the most impressive prospects in all of mixed martial arts and has lived up to the hype, but he still hasn't reached his full potential. Even so, at this point, there's no reason to believe he couldn't go on to win the heavyweight title as well.
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