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Jon Jones: What he is, and how to fight him.

Jugger2011-03-27 07:12:48 +0000 #1
With the dust settling after Shogun's ignominious exit from the world stage, it's time to take a an objective look at what we're dealing with. Put aside the epic storm of hype for a second, and allow yours truly to be your guide in examining the bits of evidence we have about Jones.

I. How did we get here?

Through a series of extremely lucky and fortunate breaks for Jones, he's been made to look a lot better than he actually is. It's a perfect storm. This is the part where I will lose some of you, but think back: I made this same claim using the same analysis about Fedor. Many of you doubted, but in the end I was proven right and vindicated.

Let's examine his UFC record:

Gusmao via decision - who gives a ****.

Bonnar via decision- This fight tells us a lot. Here the hype train started. But why? Notably, because he hit a billion Greco throws.

1) Bonnar was walking into these throws, any greco guy could've done this, notice how his wrestling has never seemed even close to that dominant since.

2) The reason he hit multiple throws, was because Bonnar kept getting up. He couldn't hold Bonnar done to save his life. Eventually this lead to...

3) Jones gassing horribly. The cardio problem reared its head, which lead to...

4) Bonnar landing more strikes than him.

People only remember the greco throws though. So the hype is born.


O'Brien via sub - A big step down in competition, but the stoppage added to the hype.


Hamill loss via DQ - Here the hype started to take its current form. Even though he lost via DQ, people don't really respect the downward elbow rule, so they just remember it as a dominant performance, but what really happened?

1) He got a take down against Hamill, who fancies himself a striker that need not wrestle. Still impressive, but on that take down Hamill's shoulder popped out. Thus, Hamill was a fish on the ground leading up to the DQ. People assumed it was just Jones, but the fluke shoulder injury is what lead to Hamill pretty much curling up and dying.

2) Because of Hamill's rep, now Jones is the next coming.

3) Remember that Hamill is a chronic under performer, and some of the characters he has lost to.


Brandon vera via TKO- Another performance punctuated by fluke injury. No matter how hard you throw your elbows from inside someones guard, the odds of you destroying their orbital are very, very low. Yet that happened.

1) People forgot their Vera hate, hype grows.

2) Vera testified as to how unimpressive Jones' ground game was before that point. And it's true. Witness this:

Not good. Massive strength disparity prevented a real incident though.


V-matt via who gives a ****.


Final chapter in the prologue.

Bader via sub- Here Bader can be said to have put on the worst performance of his life.

1) Keep in mind that Bader's wrestling has been getting worse and worse. This is probably due to training in his own ****ty camp with C.B. Dolloway.

2) He was TREMENDOUSLY hesitant and gun shy. This is unforgivable, and will be important to remember later. He didn't commit to anything. This tentativeness led to him being taken down on a bad shot.

3) He forgot how to grapple. He literally, after diving half guard, gave up a neck for no sane reason.

4) Jones displayed several technical flaws, explained later.

This lead to the unbearable hype.


II. A plan comes together.

The UFC at this point, having been declining in sales (and explained in depth by guys like Meltzer iirc), is trying to revert back to putting more emphasis on super stars, rather than just the brand.

Jones, on this tremendous hype filled winning streak, is the perfect candidate. A series of lucky breaks follow.

-Knee injury to shogun had already messed with the LHW division. There was a log jam at the top.

- Rampage gets a terrible decision over Machida.

- Rashad gets a freak knee injury and has to pull out of his rescheduled title fight with Shogun.

- Rampage, the winner of said terrible decision, let himself bloat to over 250 lbs again, and was unable to take a fight on 6 weeks notice.

The big names either unable to fight, or coming off losses, the UFC was free to credibly advance their ideal scenario: Jones fighting Shogun coming off knee surgery.

Why is this ideal?

- Obviously anyone is at their weakest coming off a long lay off and surgery.

- Shogun is known for his poor conditioning.

- Shogun is known to really gas against big guys that grapple with him, doubling the impact of the previous two points.

- Jones was already in visible shape.

The stage was set...

III. "Et tu cardio? Then fall Shogun!"

Let's examine the tragedy of Shogun Rua in this last fight. What happened, why did it happen, and what went wrong.

1) Range- Shogun lost the second he decided that he had to try punching from 12 feet away. (Ironically, he still landed some of these! That's how overrated Jones' striking is)

Why did this happen?

Fear of the takedown. People forget that Jon's primary wrestling attacks are based on upper body clinching. They give him epic shot distance respect, when they really shouldn't.

- When the difference in wrestling is this great, you almost have to give up on some aspects of takedown defense. Sure break the clinch every time you can and defend it properly (as Shogun did during one tie up by putting his hand low to the uperr thigh/hip region), but eventually you WILL be taken down. Accordingly, you should concede this inevitability in your striking and f*cking strike like you mean it. This half stepping gives you the worst of both worlds.

2) Hesitation. Jones was being a ballerina, yet Shogun was immensely hesitant. To beat Jones you have to commit to whatever your main attacks are. More on that later.

3) Accordingly, both of the above led to Shogun deciding not to kick. Worst idea ever. His explosive 5 billion PSI kicks are his primary offensive weapon, and one which was anatomically there all night. He put no hesitation in Jones. Jones was free to kick at will from a distance, and walk Shogun down.

- When Shogun decided to kick (in response to Jones landing like 6 unanswered kicks and like 11 unanswered strikes due to having no respect for Shogun's counter), Shogun landed landed 2 really good kicks.

-On the second kick, he got taken down. This shouldn't have been a bad thing. As a powerful striker, it's can be a good thing that you're opponent begins to try and lower his hands to catch anticipated kicks. If you time him properly, you can viciously exploit this bad habit for a knockout. Accordingly, if Jones messes up attempting this, he can also injure himself.

- If he had attempted this earlier, besides putting more fear and potential damage into Jones, the take-down wouldn't have mattered, because he would have still had Gas left, more on that later.

4) Bad guard technique. It's never easy to enter deep half against someone bigger than you. It's never easy to enter deep half against someone stronger than you. It's almost impossible to enter deep half against a wrestler who is both significantly bigger and significantly stronger than you. Half in general can have this drawback. For more on this, see Lesnar- Murr II

-He also didn't go for it right. Reaching for the free leg was a mistake, and one that he wasted countless energy on.

-It was the most recent guard technique that he displayed against Machida, so obviously it would be the one Jones would be most prepared for.

-Ironically, when facing a big strong new motherf*cker like Jones, it's time to go old school. Full guard was working better for Shogun. There is a reason that failed too, which I'll briefly explain.

5) Before doing that though, let's briefly mention that Shogun had plain old bad luck. A bit of laziness and sheer dumb luck led to him eating a kick to the face against the cage. He was never the same after this, but still managed to hang in there.

6) The most decisive factor of all, Shogun gassed. I noticed that their was some dispute on this in the main thread, but it's clear as day.

- Shogun visibly slowed (and that's after coming in slower than normal)

- Shogun's technique started going to sh*t.

- Shogun's ability to scramble was nonexistent.

- The huffing and puffing.

- Most importantly of all, he stopped initiating movement from full guard. He was holding on for dear life. THIS is why his full guard failed.

A lot of people didn't notice in the heat of the moment, but look at round 2. In round 2, Shogun successfully isolates Jones' arm and pins it to his (shogun's) own chest. Jones should've been in danger here!

Shogun had the options to either: initiate several submissions, attempt a swept, or even attempt a decently successful back take if he really had energy. He didn't even try anything. Shogun had no energy to do anything. He was clearly resigned to just survive the round and hope he could land a hook from 20 feet away. Compare that guard work to Shogun's initial full guard in round 1.

-If Shogun had any cardio, that could've been a major turning point in the fight, and he could've REALLY capitalized in rounds 3+, for reasons we'll see later.

7) Finally, all of the above lead to desperation. Shogun had his back standing, twice and instead of going for an easy, obvious take down, or even a back take, or even attempting to exploit the position for striking, he tried to do the same sh*tty pull leg lock nonsense that he couldn't even get Chuck with.

It goes against every principle of fighting to give up position like that for such a retardedly low % move. This cost him dearly.

Jugger2011-03-27 07:28:16 +0000 #2
IV: How to fight Jon Jones.

Having dispelled a lot of the hype behind the results, and having analyzed why Shogun's methods failed, let's analyze Jones' methods and why they are flawed.


-Jones isn't a good striker. The weirdo striking doesn't work, in fact it's the least effective part of his game, despite Rogan's on air orgasms. For example the spinning elbow. That was a tricep to the forehead. Completely useless. Most of the spinning moves were totally ineffective and can be exploited by good strikers. Bonnar, who isn't a world beater, managed to adjust to this.

- He still has glaring errors in how he moves. Jones not only tends to plod around, but has bad foot work:

which as BE pointed out, tends to make him pause like this after each big step:

That's entirely exploitable by either a wrestler or a striker.


No real flaws here per se, though his shots are overrated. A defense to being thrown was actually, as I mentioned before, demonstrated by Shogun. When clinched up besides having adequate hip and head position, if you drop one arm down between his legs, or on his hip etc, you can negate the throw.

The Ground Game:

His top game revolves mostly around being stronger than people. That's why Vera was unable to exploit his bad positioning. Shogun on the other hand, was somewhat able to but gassed. A proper full guard that attacks Jones bad arm placement is crucial here. Again, see testimony from people like Vera that Jones' ground game ain't sh*t.


His biggest weakness! People don't understand how much danger he was in going into round 3. He was gassing horribly (as he kinda did against Bonnar). Take it from his trainers:


Mike Winkeljohn, had a different view of the competition from the fighter’s corner. According to “Coach Wink,” Jones had plenty of adversity to overcome.

“There was a turning point after the second round where we were real scared, because [Jones] was tired,” Winkeljohn told after the bout. “He had pressed all day long. Well, s--t, the whole last two weeks, [cameras] following him around 24-7. I think all that hoopla got to him, and the pressure got to him a little bit. He was tired after the second round, and I was worried.”

A lot of us have been pointing this out for ages, and this is even more proof. This is when an elite fighter will start putting the nails in his coffin. If you're going to fight him, you need to still to have a full gas tank in round 3. Shogun with full cardio would've begun to really hurt Jones there. That's when Jones starts making bigger mistakes.

Commit to your strength!

To beat him, you can't be scared, you have to commit. The reason a guy like Bonnar, for all the sh*t he takes on this site, was able to make Jones look bad later on in the fight, and exploit his cardio, was that he wasn't afraid, even after being thrown around. If you commit to your offense, you can push Jones out of his comfort zone.

This was the mistake of Bader and Rua. Neither committed to their main offensive techniques. If you're a wrestler, f*cking wrestle, if you're a kick boxer, then kick! Don't concede distance and don't be defensive. The more you fight him the more he gasses.


V. What is to be done?

There are several ways the UFC matchmaking can go from here, but one thing is almost a given, that Jones will be overvalued on the betting lines.

That doesn't necessarily mean that his opponents will be good bets, but it does mean that you probably shouldn't waste your time betting on him. I predict that you'll probably see some ridiculous -400 type lines after this. Avoid stuff like that.

Now, who can beat him? Who will free us from the dishonor of having a hipster as LHW champion?

The best candidate IMO:

Machida is not only the most dominant LHW champion (or at least tied with Rampage for it) since Chuck died, but he meets all of the criteria for beating Jones best.

Superior striking

Besides being a better striker than Jones, his particular style should give him fits. Machida abuses the distance and range that Jones is so used to just taking for granted against short people like Shogun and non-strikers like Bader and Bonnar.

Superior Grappling

Machida is immensely underrated as a grappler. He's a black belt with high profile submission grappling wins over BJJ world champions like Lovato: Video From YouTube:(link)

He also tends to play a more traditional full guard. That's much better suited to being able to defend against Jones and later on exploit his weaknesses.

Take down defense

Be it owning Cain in sparring on his visits to AKA, or what he's displayed in his fights, Lyoto actually has very good take down defense. Besides this giving him more chances to damage Bones standing, this will gas Jones out. Wrestling is the most energy consuming facet of fighting.

Physical strength

You need to be strong to avoid getting ragdolled. Machida is strong.


Machida has excellent cardio, which will win him the fight dominantly in rounds 3+. Factor in his ability to tire out Jones with the previous 2 points, and this will be a major fight factor.

Game plan:

Lyoto's lack of fear and overall ability to stick to a gameplan will pay dividends. He'll commit to his offense and stick to a strategy, unlike Bader and Jones.

The dragon will return MMA to what it should be

Video From YouTube:(link)

The End
BulldogWrestler2011-03-27 07:59:15 +0000 #3
I thought you hated machida?
Dream2011-03-27 08:25:58 +0000 #4
Haters gonna hate.
Serge Storms2011-03-27 08:07:38 +0000 #5
Did you work on that when you were banned and were just waiting for a chance to use it?
Achillles412011-03-27 09:20:00 +0000 #6
Jones is a top talent and an incredible fighter. But he is beatable. We will see him beaten before 2011 is done.



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