No One Left For Jon Jones in Light Heavyweight Division
By Glynn Hill
On Saturday, April 21, many of us were counting down until the highly anticipated light heavyweight championship bout between Jon “Bones” Jones (16-1) and Rashad Evans (17-2) in Atlanta.
Jones Dominating Performance
Much was made about the relationship–or lack thereof–between Evans and Jones who are former training partners under Greg Jackson; however, by the third round, there was nothing special about this fight. Similar to his victories over Quinton Jackson and Lyoto Machida, Saturday’s fight became business as usual for the reigning light heavyweight champion.
While some are patting Jones on the back for a well deserved victory, I am pounding my fists in frustration! Jones has dismantled this division and quite honestly, Dan Henderson (his next victim) doesn’t pose much of a threat to his title. In fact, while Henderson is bigger than Evans, he is both slower and older (by nearly ten years). With the Evans win, Jones has now defeated four former champions in his last four fights…there is no one left!
Having won a state championship with a powerhouse high school only a year ago, I love domination as much as the next guy, but at some point you do have to get a little greedy and reach for more. Hell, if Maurice Clarett was this patient his life wouldn’t be so screwed up.
The Jones-Evans fight illustrates Jones’ MMA career. While it was competitive at times, Jones soundly, systematically took his opponent apart in the end. The fighters he has faced have struggled mightily with his size, mainly his 84.5in. reach. Jones is also a proficient wrestler…then again, when you throw elbows like he did Saturday, who really needs that?
The next logical step would be for him to add some weight to his 205lb. frame and move up to fight heavyweight. His body would support the added weight well and it would be more exciting than watching him waiting around for another worthy light heavyweight; however, that may not necessarily be the best career move for him. The heavyweight division is a whole nother animal, full of fighters who specialize in brute strength and one-hit KO power, which would take some adjustment on Jones part. But there is another option for him.
Jones could move down to middleweight where he could battle the next best fighter in the sport, Anderson Silva. The problem is, Silva refuses to go back up to light heavyweight while Jones does not want to drop down a weight class. Silva, who is scheduled to fight Chael Sonnen this summer, is not getting any younger either. Even then, Jones’s superior ground game, youth, and size would present issues for someone as great as Silva too. IF Dana White were to get the Jones-Silva fight, it would rival the Mayweather Jr./ Pacquaio super fight that boxing has failed to put together.