UFC 140 Results: Where Does Jon Jones Rank Pound-for-Pound with a Win?
If he is victorious, Jones will be 4-0 in 2011, having already defeated Ryan Bader, Mauricio Rua, and Quinton Jackson earlier this year.
The young champion has had arguably the toughest schedule in all of MMA this year and his biggest is still in front of him.
A win tonight would make Jones the greatest light heavyweight champion since the legendary reign of Chuck Liddell and it would silence anyone out there still doubting his abilities.
Already there has been much debate about where Jones should sit in the pound-for-pound picture and a victory tonight will only further that debate, so let's take some time and analyze this.
If he beats Machida tonight, where will Jon Jones sit in the pound-for-pound rankings?
For now, let's say Jones is currently sitting at No. 6.
Most people can agree that the top three spots go to Anderson Silva, Georges St-Pierre, and Frankie Edgar—in that order.
Then spots four and five go to Jose Aldo and Dominick Cruz. These two have not been as dominant in victory as Jones this past year, but both have significantly more title defenses than Jones does.
Of course, Jones' advancement through these rankings will be dependent on how dominant his performance is.
If Jones comes out tonight and destroys Machida, that will be three-straight top 25 pound-for-pound opponents that he has beaten easily.
If that's the case, he deserves to move into the fourth slot, surpassing Aldo and Cruz.
Both of them would still have more title defenses than Jones, but neither can claim that their last three opponents have been ranked in the pound-for-pound top 25.
In the event that this is a close fight and Jones looks human for the first time in the cage, an argument could be made for putting him in front of Cruz, but not Aldo.
The fact is, Jones has much less experience than many of the fighters at the front of the pound-for-pound list, and so it's hard to rank him above others, unless he puts on extremely dominant performances.
Either way, Jones can expect to slide up the rankings one or two spots tonight if he beats Machida, unless the fight ends in some sort of controversy.
Be sure to stay tuned to Bleacher Report for all things UFC 140. B/R is your home for complete coverage of the December 10 fight card, from pre-fight predictions to in-fight coverage, results and post-fight analysis
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