Jon Jones vs. Rampage Jackson: Rampage Out-Classed at UFC 135
It has been nine fights and nine dominant performances for Jon Jones since debuting in the UFC back at UFC 87 against Andre Gusmao.
His latest win was his first defense of his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship against Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
While Jones was climbing the ranks of the light heavyweight division, his critics were constantly coming up with reasons as to why "Bones" was soon to fall. People claimed he hadn't been tested, he hadn't taken a punch, and his stamina was questionable.
Even after winning the belt against Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, critics claimed that "Shogun" was coming off of a long layoff and he wasn't completely healthy.
At this point, however, those questions are no longer valid. Jackson admitted after the fight that this is the best "Rampage" ever. He trained hard and had no excuses—Jones is just the superior fighter.
It's frightening to see the way in which Jackson was dominated, considering he had spent nearly a decade fighting before "Bones" made his debut in mixed martial arts in 2008.
There are certainly things to critique regarding Jackson's performance. He abandoned his leg kicks—the only thing that seemed to be effective against Jones—and never pressed the action as he claimed he was going to do before the fight. Instead, he was content to stand back and let Jones pick him apart.
Still, this can be explained by Jackson's fear of being taken down due to Jones' amazing wrestling ability and Jones' 84.5-inch reach.
"Rampage," along with several other fighters who have been defeated by Jones, mentioned his difficulty in dealing with the severe reach disadvantage.
While "Rampage" could have done a few things differently, it's hard to argue that the outcome would have been altered. Jones was clearly the superior striker, out-landing his opponent 61 to 16 in significant strikes, according to FightMetric.
He also was able to take Jackson down and mount him effortlessly, showing his clear dominance in the grappling department as well.
The way in which the fight ended—a rear-naked choke submission in the fourth round—was a fitting way to display Jones' well-rounded talents. Even late into the fight, he seemed completely relaxed, dispelling any belief that his stamina should be questioned.
While Jones' career is still blossoming at just 24 years old, he already has made his claim as one of the best mixed martial artists on the planet.
In addition, he has the potential to be one of the greatest ever, especially if he continues to improve at his current rate.
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