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Is Jon Jones Going To Destroy Shogun?

Hype can be a funny thing. Too much of it can kill a career before it truly starts, yet not enough of it can keep a talented individual on the outside looking in. In the fight game we see guys (and gals) hyped up all the type. It’s all part of the cyclical nature of any professional sport; when a legend fades away there’s always going to be the next guy in line pegged to take his place.

The UFC light heavyweight division has long been considered the most important weight class in the company, as many of the sport’s biggest stars have called 205 lbs. their home at one point or another. Guys like Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell, and Randy Couture carried the UFC for a number of years, but as of late the light heavyweight division has had trouble finding that next guy. At the moment what was old is new again, as Mauricio “Shogun” Rua has captured UFC gold and reclaimed his position as the definitive #1 fighter at light heavyweight. Rua has held the top spot for almost a year even though he’s yet to make his first title defense, but we won’t have to wait too much longer for that.

Conveniently enough, we also won’t have to wait too much longer to see if Jon Jones is the next big thing at 205 lbs. He was supposed to have the biggest test of his career this past Saturday against the undefeated Ryan Bader, but once again Jones has made a legit fighter look like an amateur at a “smoker.” Before UFC 126 it seemed as though Jones was destined for big things in the company, but I’m not sure if anybody could have predicted how quickly those things would get big. After beating Bader badly, Jones got the proverbial bombshell dropped in his lap; Rashad Evans was out, and he was in against “Shogun” next month.

There’s already been some debate as to whether or not this fight makes sense, but to me it absolutely does. Jones is only 23 and has a long career ahead of him. Even if he loses to Rua it’s not as though this will be the end of his title aspirations. Jones is taking a title fight on short notice, and he’s facing the top fighter in the world at 205 lbs. There’s no shame in losing this fight, and with his unlimited potential there’s no reason to think that he won’t be able to make it back to contention again someday. But just how much of a chance does Jones really have?

In my opinion, he’s got a pretty great chance. Jones is heading into the biggest fight of his life fresh off another training camp, while his opponent is coming off of a 10 month layoff. Rua has had numerous surgeries on his knees and whenever he’s come back from that surgery he’s not been able to perform at his highest level (witness his fights with Forrest Griffin and Mark Coleman for confirmation of that). Jones is already at peak physical condition while Rua is going to have a very real case of cage rust. Some people might claim that at the age of 23 it’s too early in Jones’ career to be fighting at this level, but allow me to remind you that “Shogun” won the PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix when he was 23 as well.

Rua does have one advantage in that he was already training for a fight on March 19th, and he was already preparing to face a wrestler. While I’m sure “Shogun” and his team are already drilling takedown defense, they face a significant challenge in training for Jones. Specifically, there is no real way to prepare for Jones’ striking abilities. He’s got such a massive reach and he uses those limbs so effectively, and on top of that he’s got an unorthodox style trained in the fine art of YouTube-Fu. There nobody else in the world that I can think of who fights like him, so how in the hell is “Shogun” going to find anybody capable of mimicking that?

On top of that Jones has the wrestling acumen to dictate exactly where this fight takes place, and he presents problems from virtually all positions. If he’s not in the position he wants to be in he’s perfectly capable of leap-frogging his opponent to get there (as we saw on Saturday). He doesn’t have the pure BJJ background that Rua possesses but his innovative submissions could still give “Shogun” plenty of trouble. The only place we haven’t seen Jones work from is off his back, but if a powerhouse wrestler like Bader couldn’t get Jones down what chance does “Shogun” have?

Of course, nobody expects the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion to try and take Jones down. Rua is a far more decorated striker, and in his performances against Lyoto Machida he would repeatedly cutting off the cage while implementing a more measured and technical approach to his attacks. Jones’ style has little in common with Machida (save for the fact that each fighter is pretty unique), but Rua is still going to have similar problems with getting in close enough to attack Jones while avoiding any significant counters. One thing working in Rua’s advantage is that we’ve yet to see Jones demonstrate true one-punch knockout power in the octagon, while “Shogun” has already separated several opponents from consciousness in his UFC run.

I expect Jones will look to maintain distance and use his striking to set up the takedown, but one of the things that makes Jones so much fun to watch is his unpredictability. At this point in his career there’s no way to know for sure how he’ll perform against “Shogun,” as there is too wide of a talent gap between the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and every other opponent Jones has faced. Rua could outclass the young Jones and dominate in his first title defense, or it could be a closely contested five round war that ends in a narrow decision.

We must also consider the third option; that “Bones” is going to straight-up wreck “Shogun” and any other opponents he faces. Jones has the kind of raw potential that’s rarely seen amongst fighters in any weight class, and I don’t think it’s out of the question to believe he’s going to run right through the UFC light heavyweight champ. There’s no way to know for sure until March 19th, and personally I cannot wait.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

56 COMMENTS
  • joe mo mma says:

    This is going to be an amazing fight. I def love both Rua and Bones.. but I see Bones taking this one. The momentum and confidence that this guy has is just amazing. Rua is the man.. but Bones is a Beast!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

  • Lethal Liquid says:

    Let take a moment to appreciate the fine art of Youtube-Fu line that was classic.

    I see this as another Jones demolition job. I feel differently if ShoGun had stout takedown defense but he doesn’t. ShoGun is the better striker no question but, this fight is going to the ground. Jones has elbows that are just like blades and Mauricio will be feeling that next month. He’s gonna look like a Klingon like he did after the Forrest fight.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

  • bigbadjohn says:

    I believed Rashad had the necessary tools to beat SHogun in this one. Bones is much longer than Evans, so his striking will be more effective than Rashad’s would’ve been, plus he hasn’t shown the glass jaw that Suga has had to cope with. Jones will win using his wrestling and avoiding Shoguns strengths. Though as a person I prefer Rua and he will have my support come March 19

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  • Angry Mike says:

    The “x” factor is Rua’s health. In the rematch with Machida he didn’t seem to have any problems, and he was able to chase down Machida and finish him. That impressed me, because even fighters as quick as Rashad hadn’t been able to corner Machida. If he’s healthy, I suspect Rua will use the same game plan: cut off the ring/octagon and swarm Jones. Jones is nimble and athletic, and can counter effectively, but I don’t think he’s been tested the way Rua can test him if Rua’s healthy. Jones will have to maintain his composure and keep his wits about him. A healthy Rua has the edge in my opinion, but I wouldn’t call Jones an underdog, either.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  • boomnutz says:

    i just want to pat myself on the back for being on record predicting a sub for Jones…Sorry i just had to gloat for a second…anyway, i think as long as Jones checks leg kicks all day and trains against subs a ton he should be all right, although Shogun has a nasty clinch, he’s probably not used to using it against taller, stronger opponents, so it may be negated in this one….

    can i be the first one to start calling for it? after GSP/Silva (keeping my fingers crossed, Shield i’ll stab you myself if you ruin it) Silva vs Jones!!!!!!!!!!!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 11

  • Niv says:

    Ok guys I honestly get the hype here, what’s not to like? Young kid who looks amazing, seems like a likable kid and seems to have no weaknesses, I get all of that.

    The way I see it though is that there’s a risk that hasn’t been talked about here, and that’s what happens to Jones if he gets outright destroyed, as that’s a very real possibility as well? Will he turn into another Brandon Vera who lost his confidence and becomes gun shy? Will he seem a little apprehensive as Machida has his past couple fights, who knows?

    I personally lean towards Jones getting wrecked in this, I hope it doesn’t kill his psyche as well, I’ve been stating for years now Shogun’s the best in the biz, I expect him to keep proving the doubters wrong.

    Rua did win the Pride MW tournament at 23 years old but no-one here can honestly tell me Bones has been tested anywhere near the level Rua was winning the Pride GP. He nearly killed Rampage in the ring, he fought one of the toughest fights seen against Little Nog (in his prime), then ko’d Alister Overeem before utterly destroying Ricardo Arona in the final.

    Rua did look very bad against Griffin, but if I’m right the only fight he looked bad in after surgery was the Coleman fight because he had 2 surgeries in one year. Griffin was different, he fought Griffin on a knee that he hurt in training and needed surgery, that in itself says a lot about his confidence and toughness to still step in there and go to war.

    Either way this one will be a treat for the fans, and yes I’ll go on record and say I’ll be shocked as hell if Bones beats Rua.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  • Niv says:

    On another note here I have to say that the GSP vs Anderson Silva superfight will be a mismatch and shouldn’t happen.

    There is far too much of a natural weight difference between the two fighters in my opinion. Silva walks around as much as 225lbs, while GSP goes at 190lbs, no way this should take place with that difference.

    The super fight I want to see is Shogun vs Anderson SIlva, that would be one of the greatest fights in the making. These guys trained together back in the day, they know each other well and I can only imagine the brutal power that would be put on display along with some serious skill sets.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  • Rece Rock says:

    On another note here I have to say that the GSP vs Anderson Silva superfight will be a mismatch and shouldn’t happen.

    I hear you Niv- That fight could change the coarse of GSP’s career and not in a good way…

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  • Rece Rock says:

    P.S.

    The pressure is on Jon Jones NOT the champ.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  • Guthookd says:

    “On another note here I have to say that the GSP vs Anderson Silva superfight will be a mismatch and shouldn’t happen.”
    -Rece

    Agreed. Silva would fuck him up and ruin his legacy. Silva vs. Jones is the superfight we need to see (after Jones puts a first round beating on Shogun, that is).

    I pick Bones with 100% confindence (vs. Rua, not A. Silva).

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

  • boomnutz says:

    i just want to say for everyone that’s pointing to the size difference between Silva and GSP…was Silva walking around 225 all those years he was fighting at WW, not a fucking chance…Everyone’s had the opportunity to take a close look at GSP and his lifestyle and does anyone think there’s a fighter more suited to gaining the extra weight properly , than him? He surrounds himself with the best of the best in all aspects, training, coaching, nutrition, blah blah blah…

    so if anyone can do it, its GSP…

    And Niv, i hear you about Shogun, he was a machine back then, but you can’t take away injuries, they say he has almost no cartilage left in his knee…and btw this is an evolving sport, Jones is the future…

    MMA as a sport used to be filled with fighters, over the past few years we’ve seen an influx of athletes, so instead of having great fighters and great athletes now you have great fighters that are great athletes and there’s going to be more and more of these super fighters emerging…pretty soon the kid that would have once grown up to be Julius Peppers is going to grow up as Julius Peppers with a black belt in jui jitsu…scary thought, Jones is one of these guys

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  • Niv says:

    boomnutz, I agree you can’t take away injuries but with proper care you can extend your career by years.

    I have to respectfully disagree with your assessment that Shogun was a machine, I think he’s been proving he still is.

    As a guy who’s had knee surgery and major back surgery I get the challenges that recovery poses, granted no-one is kicking my knee but I’ve been training pretty hard and seem to be doing fine, as a matter of fact my back is light years better than it was before.

    Until proven otherwise I’ll give Shogun the benefit of doubt health wise, and a healthy Shogun at this point is dangerous for anyone.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  • LiverPunch says:

    You guys are insane!. GSP is going to be one of the biggest tests Silva has ever had. GSP is about to fight a guy who just destroyed Hendo and Hendo dominated Silva for a rd. Bones is going to beat Rua. He will have no probs taking Rua down and I thinkthat is where the damage will be done.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

  • Rece Rock says:

    Everybody keeps also mentioning GSP putting on the weight properly…OK yes he wants to and needs to put that weight on properly…
    Soooo with that said this fight then does NOT happen any time soon… It’s going to take longer than a few months after the Shields fight to just pack on 20 lbs, NATURALLY and with out it being all useless FAT… GSP wants to gain muscle mass naturally and that’s not a walk in the park when your training to fight at an elite level.

    And for those of you who think 20lbs is not biggie and can be done quickly and naturally, than why does everyone flip out on Overeem for gaining 20 lbs of muscle quickly and that he must be on roids… hmmm think ppl this isn’t cut and dry, GSP is taking on a big task here and I think this fight will take more than a year to come together if it ever does.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  • LiverPunch says:

    7-10 pounds would be enough. He is around 190 so 197-200 would do at first.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  • boomnutz says:

    Niv, I never said Shogun wasn’t still a machine, but he’ll never become the fighter he could have become if he had a 100% healthy knee, ask anyone who’s had ligament problems, it’s never the same…i still think he’s a beast, but i think he’ll get thrashed by Bones…i’m not detracting from Shogun though, don’t start spelling my words that way, i’m more lamenting on what could have been

    and Rece, I couldn’t agree more, my prediction is that they’ll rush Rush (eh eh i’m funny) and they’ll fight on next year’s super bowl Saturday (God willing there is a Super Bowl)

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  • MCM says:

    Agreed Rece Rock.
    I said the same things in the aftermath topic. That’s why the Okami fight makes so much sense.

    As for Rua/Jones, I think it’s impossible to count out either fighter, but on close inspection, I’d give the upper hand to Jones.
    I also listed a number of questions still out there on Bones, but what worries me most is the level that Rua has been performing at for the passed 4 years. He’s only fought two top guys in the UFC (sorry Chuck) and holds losses to both, and one win. We can say that he wasn’t physically ready to fight Forrest and that his loss to Machida was a result of poor judging, but the fact remains that outside of the two fights with Lyoto, he hasn’t looked like half the fighter he was when he won the PRIDE GP. Add to that the numerous surgeries and the long lay offs and the timing is perfect for a fighter of Jon’s overall athleticism to take the belt away.
    Like I said, you can’t count out either fighter, and even a one legged Shogun is still more dangerous than %99 of the people out there, but I don’t see him holding on to the title after a match with Jon Jones.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  • stone says:

    I still want to know why the hell Bader got in a cage with Jones for $20,000? I’d love to see Jones striking vs Rua’s striking but, we all know Greg Jackson will convince Jones to be safe and take it to the ground… Don’t sleep on Shogun, just when we all thought Machida was invincible, Shogun showed us who the man is! This should be a good one!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  • MCM says:

    stone –
    My guess is that this was the last $20k fight on Bader’s contract. He gets a $100k contract for winning TUF, that’s 5 fights at 20k apiece. I’m sure he’s already renegotiated a new contract that pays him a lot more per fight.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • Creature says:

    Silva vs GSP is THE superfight, especially since there the main 2 people everyone is ranking number 1 and 2 as best pound for pound in the world. silva walks around at about 210, he only ups his weight to 220-225 when he takes LHW fights. and yeah GSP walks around at 190 now, but by the time they fight he will be about 200-205. i think GSP would be the one to fuck silva’s legacy up.. GSP has some of the best technical striking in the sport, and is one of if not THE most dominate MMA wrestlers. and add his submission game he would be a huge threat. he would use his striking to set up his take downs, and just beat on silva with gnp. and GSP wont be dumb enough to let silva throw up a triangle either..

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • Niv says:

    With all due respect guys I think you’re wrong about Silva, he supposedly walks around at 225lbs. Think about it he’s 6’2″ tall, Thiago Alves walks around at 210 lbs and cuts down to WW.

    It makes no sense to say he bulks up to 225lbs so he can then cut weight to make the 205lb LHW cut off.

    The size difference is too much and I think as a superfight it will be a dud, I hope they don’t force GSP into that one. Let Silva fight the bigger boys at LHW, that would be a better test.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  • LiverPunch says:

    There is no way Silva cuts 40 pounds. He weighs 205 on fight day. GSP weighs 190-195 on fight day.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  • While I agree Jon Jones has athleticism like we’ve hardly seen before…so does Shogun.
    While I agree jon Jones has incredible speed….So does Shogun.

    It seems like most people are riding this hype train and not looking at all of the facts.
    Ryan Bader who was the “stiffest test” in Bones’s young career is an extremely one dimensional wrestler who just happens to have big power in his fists should he connect. He’s only knocked out keith Jardine who has a terribly soft chin and vinny magalesh who was cut from the ufc pretty quick. Everyone is making it seem as if he thrashed a single top opponent at 205(Forrest, Franklin, T Silva, Evans, Rampage, Machida etc.)
    I do think Bones is the future of mma but as previously stated who’s to say he’s not going to become Vera should he get tagged by Shogun in the first thrity seconds of the fight? Jones has fought one decent striker in Brandon Vera, and did do an excellent job of taking him down and pounding him out, but Vera isnt explosive or slick off his back like Shogun.
    This is once again that moment(not unlike the other night with Belfort vs. Silva) where everyone is counting the champ out for whatever reason I cant fathom(minus ring rust?) And not giving him any credibilty based on his accomplishment. Two men have beaten machida…but Only one has knocked him down, knocked him out, and finished him and he did it in one fell swoop.

    War Shogun

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  • YetiLee says:

    No reason to get excited about a GSP vs Silva fight, because Jake Shields is going to beat GSP.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

  • Rich S. says:

    This might be 25 minutes of hard, fast scrambling.

    The best word I can find to describe Shogun is “wise”. The guy fought the perfect fight against Machida, an expert in controlling fights, twice. I certainly wouldn’t expect him to loose to a kid who only recently found out he would be fighting for the belt… That is, if that kid wasn’t Jon Jones.

    Jones won’t have a problem getting it to the ground. Shogun does little to defend takedowns; he spends most of his time scrambling to his feet or looking for submissions. Jones should be able to hold his own on the feet. The question for me is: What will Jones do when he’s in the fourth round, his legs battered, his body bruised, and Shogun is still coming at him?

    This will be a grueling fight for both competitors.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  • LiverPunch says:

    The hype is justified. Bader just beat Nog. If you throw the divisions best wrestlers around there is something special about you. He will be able to throw Shogun around too.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  • Jstew3785 says:

    I keep hearing everyone talk about what great shape Jon Jones is in, but I have to disagree. He was breathing heavy with his mouth wide open after one round of fighting. Call me crazy, but I think their cardio will be equal. I don’t think that any outcome to this fight will surprise me, but I’ll be pulling for Shogun.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  • Niv says:

    Hey LiverPunch I don’t want to drag this weight issue into the mud but here’s some food for thought.

    Lesnar cuts over 40 lbs every fight to make the 265lb cut off, Rampage walks around at over 250 lbs, and he cuts down to 205lbs, Thiago Alves cuts 40 lbs to make the 170 lb cut, so cutting 40lbs over a training camp is not unusual in fight sports.

    Rampage turned down the title fight because he stated 5 weeks isn’t enough time to cut down from the 250lbs he’s at right now.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • ColinL says:

    Jones hasn’t faced a kicker like Rua and if there is a kicker remotely near Rua in the Jackson camp I don’t know who that would be. If Shogun is successful with leg and body kicks Jones will have a very hard time.

    Regarding GSP vs Silva (how did that come up here??), GSP is a far better wrestler than Sonnen or Henderson and his submission defense is unreal. It is very likely that GSP will put Anderson Silva on his back and grind out a 5 round unanimous decision. The only way Silva wins if he catches GSP before or during a takedown.

    And if GSP wins yet another ground grind, how the hell does that give fans very much of a “superfight”?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • LiverPunch says:

    I understand weight cutting to be the difference between fighting weight and what you weigh in at. Not what you weigh in between camps. Brock only weighs 285-295 now so he cuts about the same % of body mass as GSP. Rampage , Tito and couture cut from about 225. Im not going to argue about Jones vs Rua anymore. I think Rua is very good but Jones is better. Jones is going to be the 1 in a generation fighter. Jones has shown nothing but amazing skill but Rua has lost to Griffin and Machida and looked poor against Coleman while avenging a loss. Apart from being 1of the 5 fighters to KO Chuck recently and beating Machida in a rematch what has Shogun done lately?. I think the band wagon theory can be argued either way.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • LiverPunch says:

    Also I can’t believe people are writing off GSP in a super fight. GSP has some of the best wrestling in the WW division and I can bet you he will be able to put Silva on his back and avoid submissions. Can he do it for 5 rds? I don’t know but I do know that GSP is more well rounded and a better wrestler , which happens to be Silvas’ weakness (see the Hendo , Newton and Sonnen fights). GSP is the best fighter at overcoming a weakness or negating his opponents strengths that there is in MMA. Shields’ moves from WW to MW and takes out Lawler , Hendo and Jason Miller and for some reason you think that the best WW that has ever competed in MMA could not go 1 better or at least do as well. Shields has also beaten the MW divisions #1 contender Okami. GSP is the best WW in the world and would be a huge challenge for Silva. Silva would undoubtedly be the favorite but GSP is GSP and I bet he makes it competitive. I myself think he would be more of a challenge than Belfort , Hendo , Lutter , Cote , Leites , Maia , Leben , Irvin , Griffin and Franklin. It is a toss up with Sonnen because although GSP is a better fighter and more well rounded Sonnen has the better , more powerful wrestling , which is what is most important when it comes to beating The Spider.
    Back to Jones. Dave you say he has not beaten a contender but he has. Ryan Bader had just beaten Nog and was considered a contender and top 10. Cain Valasquez fought Jake O’Brien 5 fights before his title shot and followed it up with wins over Stonic , Kongo , Rothwell and Nog. Jon Jones fought Jake O’Brien 5 fights before his title shot and followed it up with Hamill , Vera, Matyushenko and the guy that beat Little Nog and who was 12-0 , Ryan Bader. If you add in Stephan Bonnar I think that his credentials are just as good as Valasquezs’ were leading into his fight with Brock , considering the way Jones has destroyed everyone and Cain struggled with Kongo and his win over Rothwell was the 2nd standing TKO I have ever seen. Jones has fought 13 times and Valasquez had only fought 8 times before his shot.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • bigbadjohn says:

    what a joke ColinL. Its only a superfight if GSP chooses to play into Anderson’s strengths and against his own? go watch boxing, The more talented fighter will win. Each round starts standing up, and no matter what your name is, when you fight Georges, most rounds end on the ground.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • bigbadjohn says:

    and thank you LP for recognizing and expressing that GSP’s wrestling isn’t better than Sonnens. Everywhere I read, people say “if Chael could hold down the Spider, GSP obviously could”. Georges’ wrestling is tremendous but if he and Sonnen had a wrestling match, StPierre would get beat. What makes GSPs takedowns so effective is the way in which theyre set up. I could see Georges taking down The Spider almost at will but not necessarily controlling him as easily as Mr. Sonnen. Fortunately for GSP. his sub defense is sharper than what Chaels shown. Sonnen made the blueprint, Georges must perfect it

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • MCM says:

    Here’s how I see it.
    Jon Jones is a LHW version of Georges St. Pierre. Not GSP, but Georges “Rush” St. Pierre back before he became the #1 fighter in the UFC, back when Hughes looked unbeatable.

    Everyone talks about Jones’s athleticism, just like they did with St. Pierre.
    Everyone talks about his unique and effective striking, just like they did with St. Pierre.
    Everyone talks about his dominant top game, just like they did with St. Pierre.
    Everyone says he’s the future of the sport, just like they did with St. Pierre.

    Is it any wonder people are overcrowding the Jon Jones bandwagon?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  • Iconoclastic says:

    “Is Jon Jones Going To Destroy Shogun?” Lets not get caught up in the hype. Yes, Jones has looked spectacular in his fights but he has NOT fought anyone who has been a champ or even a top 3 contender, had Evens not been injured Jones would still be working his way up.

    In most of his fights Shogun has shown very good ground defense so he isn’t going to just lay there like Bader . Also while Jones has got him in height and reach, I think Rua has got the more important advantages in strength, heavier hands and has a bigger target to land kicks. With all this said, I see Shogun winning via GNP. I def. think Jones will be a champ, but it’s not going to happen on this night.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • mu_shin says:

    Shogun brings the experience and the belt to the table, having demolished one of the truly unique champions we’ve seen in MMA to win it. While it is almost cliche among fighters that it’s harder to defend the belt then it was to win it, I give Rua the edge in that he’s been there and done that, and proven his mettle in a championship bout.

    Have to say however that there were inumerable posts previous to the Silva/Belfort fight in which people were acting as though the heavyweight Vitor who smashed Wanderlei Silva and the current 185 pound version were one and the same. Mauricio Rua is a great fighter, and a strong champion, but he’s traveled a long way since the Pride days, on a path beset by multiple surgeries and rehab/recoveries. He’s not the same guy, and I don’t see how any knowledgable fan would propose that he’s going to walk over a fighter as obviously talented as Jon Jones. Any way it goes it will be a tough, hard fought match.

    My observations lead me to wondering how well Shogy

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • mu_shin says:

    My observations lead me to wonder how well Shogun will deal with the dominant wrestling of Jones. Say what you will, Bader is a strong wrestler, and got handled by Jones. I do not discount the power and utility of Brazilian ju-jutsu, of which Rua is an experienced practitioner, but just as Jones’ 84 inch reach presents singular problems in the standup, his improvisational athletic abilities have seemed to give him great advantages in the ground game.

    Any way it goes down, this should be a great one…

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • LiverPunch says:

    I know I’m plugging Jones big time and here I go again. Icon , Rua is the better all around stand up fighter but there is no way in hell he is stronger. Did you see the way Jon threw power houses Hamill , Matyushenko and Bader around?. All three of those guys are stronger than Rua. Rua is not a strong fighter but he has very good well rounded skills. His kick boxing has always been his strong point and his BJJ is very good but thus far it has only served to help him scramble to his feet or reverse his opponents.
    I give Jones the speed , power and wrestling advantage and I give Rua the submission and striking advantage. Jones has the better camp and Shogun has the experience. I just doubt that Rua will be able to knock Jones out, keep pace with him , submit him , take him down or avoid being taken down.
    Rua has never submitted a fighter from the bottom in MMA and has only ever submitted Kevin Randleman with a leg lock. Jones should be able to put him on his back and GNP him until he gives up a sub or the ref stops it.
    At first I was absolutely positive Jones would destroy Rua but with such a short time to prepare and MMA being MMA where it only takes 1 punch , I have reconsidered my stance. I think Rua has a chance to hang on to his title but he is the underdog as far as I am concerned.

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  • Niv says:

    LP, you and I are obviously on complete opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes at how we view these two talented fighters.

    What truly perplexes me are statements such as “(Hamill, Matyushenko and Bader) All three of those guys are stronger than Rua”, really? How exactly do we get to such a conclusion?

    I base my opinions on the fights I’ve seen, I’ve seen everyone of Jone’s and the vast majority of Shogun’s. Through the level of competition faced and the sheer brute force that Rua has displayed utterly destroying guys I think you are way off in your assessment. Not only that but the level of fighter Rua has destroyed Jones has yet to face, I just can’t get to where you guys are on him right now.

    True Rua has only one submission win, but to prove the point of his power the majority of his wins are from stoppages, usually complete lights out ko’s.

    Anyhow, I’m going to tap out on this subject, one of us will be saying “I told you so”, March 19th.

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  • LiverPunch says:

    There is no way Shogun is stronger than the 3 POWER wrestlers I named. He is very good Niv but where do you get the idea he is strong or any stronger than the ave 205 fighter?. I have never seen him throw anyone around but Ive seen him thrown around by coleman , Randleman and others. I have seen Jon throw guys known for their strength and wrestling around. Im basing it on that. I have seen every Pride and UFC fight Shogun has fought and he has never shown great strength or wrestling. He is a great fighter but if you epect me to say he is better than Jon at everything youre wasting your time.

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  • Iconoclastic says:

    Maybe you should watch his fights against Rampage, Overeem and Machida(2) again. He walked thru and demolished Rampage (who is one of most explosive and strongest fighters) leaving him with a few broken ribs and unable to get up in a corner. He manhandled 6’5″Overreem (now a top HEAVYWEIGHT). And when he knockdown Machida it wasn’t a flashy lighting quick punch it was a clubbing right hand that flattened him out.

    As far as those other 3 fighters, they are not even in the same league. What top fighters have they destroyed? Bader has the muscles of a bodybuilder nothing really functional for MMA and it doesn’t mean he is strong fighter. Again, I think Jones will eventually be the Champion (which will benefit American MMA) but just not this time.

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  • BigDave says:

    Can Jon Jones beat Rua? yes. Does he have the ability to destroy Rua? yes. Has he fought the caliber if fighter that Rua has? most certainly not.

    Here are the intangibles of this match up. Jones is the longest fighter Rua will have ever faced and although Rua is fast Jones is faster. Jones will also come at Rua from so many different angles that he has the potential to overwhelm Rua. Jones also has very good takedowns and and one of the deadliest ground and pound I have ever seen.

    Now Rua has most definatly the experience advantage and has faced some of the top fighters of all time. Rua has power in his hands and being Brazilian means he was born with a BJJ purple belt. Rua ability to push the pace and his cardio are his big advantages.

    This fight will be a good one and I am having a hard time deciding who I think will win, but I think I will stick with Jones until someone is able to expose a weekness in his game.

    To put in my two cents for now on the potential GSP vs. Silva fight I will quote Niv here.

    “On another note here I have to say that the GSP vs Anderson Silva superfight will be a mismatch and shouldn’t happen.”

    I agree with you it will be a mismatch, but I DO want to see it happen. Anderson Silva will be in the cage with a guy that is Superior to him in every way. GSP is by far the best fighter on the planet and will destroy Silva.

    Talking about the weight issue, GSP made the 170 limit for the Koscheck fight at the weigh in and 5 hours later was 186 pounds. At fight time he probably weighed 190-195. and he has said he walks around at 205 or so. Getting his body ready for fighting at 185 will take him a few months so he would indeed be ready to fight by around august or september.

    This fight not only should happen, it will happen and GSP will pick the legs of the Spider on way to yet another convincing win.

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  • LP I never said Bader wasnt A contender just not one of THE contenders and that he’s not well rounded. Once Bader couldnt take down Bones by charging in with a big shot, or hit him with his super slow loopy punches he had no plan b, c or most certainly, d.
    Lil nog is a great fighter but contender in the UFC? Please. A ko over an overhyped Luiz Cane, and a razor thin split decision over Brilz does not a contender in the shark tank that is UFC’s 205 division make. I also dont seem to share your memories of Bones throwing Bader or Vlady. He took them down with clean take downs no doubt, but throwing them? Not in the slightest. The Hammil toss was impressive.
    4 people Ko’s chuck not 5. and let’s look at them in detail shall we?
    Rampage can KO anyone at anytime from any angle, the man has dynamite in his fists. Rashad became a strong KO artist and that punch would’ve KO’d Big foot himself. Rich might not be known for KO power but Chuck ran right into that punch at full charge, it happens.
    Now we arrive at the king of 205 who has KO’d, Overeem twice, Coleman, Cyborg, Machida, Gono, Rampage….get the point? its not as if Chuck was KO’d by someone who sucks he fought the best and lost…it happens. Shogun IMO has an advantage in Striking speed and more than anything technique. If Bones tries his spinnin strikes, he might land and stun us all, and he also may get dodged countered and KO’d.
    In conclusion Im not counting out the Lanky new yorker. He’s bad as hell and posses natural skills few possess. I just think Shogun’s technical striking and speed will give him fits He’s never fought a striker near Shogun’s pedigree and he’s never fought anyone with as much speed and explosiveness as himself.
    Now as far as GSP Vs. Silva, once again I wont ever write GSP off….but if you think he’s a better wrestler than Sonnen, you’re wrong. If you think he’s stronger than Silva you’re wrong. If you think he’s even the shadow of the striker silva is you’re dead WRONG. Can he get the Spider down at least a few times, Im sure, can he hold him there….maybe…Can he withstand the Spider’s technical kickboxing. I doubt it. Anderson is just as fast, more elusive and unlike everyone else, he doesnt buy feints nor does he block punches, he moves out of the way. Sonnen never tricked Anderson, he ran through him with power shots, GSP throws to get you off balance then shoots. If he throws he’ll probably eat three to the face and go DOWN. does he have a chance beyond a punchers? Oh yeah all day, do I see him winning? No no I dont.

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  • bigbadjohn says:

    How many people said Belfort was the most talented stand-up fighter Silva’s faced? Well. He isn’t nearly as technical and efficient of a striker as Georges is. People have forgotten GSPs striking prowess. He will most likely continue to train with Freddie Roach and though the jab he used to perfection on Kos won’t be nearly as useful against the Spider, you’re crazy if you think he can’t set up a takedown with it.

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  • LiverPunch says:

    Dave you had Franklin on your list as one of the contenders. To Niv and Icon , you dont have to be stronger than your opponent to win. Rua is not known for his strength. Bader , Hamill and Matyushenko were. If you think Rua is the best at everything you are wrong. He may win but he is not gods gift to fighting.

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  • I never said Rua is the best at everything…but he IS the best technical striker at 205. Name a better one? And I did have Franklin on my list of contenders I dont quite understand what you’re tryin to say about that.
    My point was you make it sound like KO’ing chuck lidell isnt an accomplishment because it started to become common, when its only the cream of the crop that have done so.
    As far as things go we can debate either of these two fights till the cows come home, or pigs fly but we’ll see what happens come fight night.
    Im just happy to have exciting fights to debate about.

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  • ColinL says:

    Bigbadjohn, I don’t expect or want GSP to try to be entertaining. I expect him to fight smart and most likely easily beat Silva through wrestling.

    Read elsewhere the early betting odds are 6-1 GSP. Vegas knows what I and many others know.. GSP can easily take Silva down. And what I meant about the superfight is that it will be just like GSP has beaten everyone lately. It probably won’t be an epic back and forth.

    ..
    Regarding Rua’s striking, he knocked out Machida primarily because he has more power and a better chin. I haven’t seen anyone really land a good one on Jon Jones yet, or at least recently, so I have no idea about his chin. Reach always helps, but if Jones is range to punch Shogun he is probably in range for Shogun to leg kick.

    In the end I’m a fan. I want to see good fights.

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  • LiverPunch says:

    I’m trying to say Franklin is not a contender Dave at 4-4 from his last 8 and having only beaten Matt Hamill and Chuck Liddell at LHW in the last 5 years. It was chucks 5th loss in 6 fights and Hamill was in his 7th MMA fight ever and it not only the cream of the crop that have beaten Chuck because Franklin at 4-4 from his last 8 is NOT cream of the crop. Look everyone stop right where you are. If I say there is no way Rua is stronger than Jones why the hell do you talk about his striking and his wins over Overeem when he did not display any spectacular strength in those fights?. His striking dealt with all of those guys.You are trying to say Rua is a standout as far as strength at 205. He isn’t. What he is is a very good kick boxer that has very good BJJ. He is not a powerhouse fighter. He has powerful striking but he has not displayed the ability to throw any fighter around or power his way out of situations. He destroys fighters but so do many fighters that are not known for strength. You are trying to say Rua is better at everything but he isn’t and his wrestling and strength has NEVER been his strong points they have ALWAYS been his weak points. If you like I will join you. Rua has the best everything. Happy?. What’s wrong with you 2?. Jones has just out powered Matyushenko , Hamill , Bonnar , Bader and Vera.It is not a matter of beating or out striking them but he was the stronger man in those fights Hamill is known for his strength, Bader is known for his strength , Matyushenko is known for his strength and all 3 are very good wrestlers. Bonnar is a very strong big 205 guy and he man handled him. Jones out powered and out wrestled them and for some very strange reason you are defending Rua as if he is stronger when he has never been known for it. Well I disagree. Rua is very good but why you think he is really strong is a mystery. I mention strength and a few of you say “he is strong because he is a good striker” which does not really make sense. Machida is SOOOOO strong because he walked through Evans and Tito. No Machida is not a strong 205 fighter but he is very good , like RUA!.

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  • Iconoclastic says:

    LP – I never said you only have to be stronger than your opponent to win. If that were true A. Silva would never have become a Champ because most of time he is in a disadvantage in that area, but usually wins because of his technique, explosiveness, reach and experience.

    “Rua is not known for his strength”

    If you really have watched all his fights in still come to that conclusion you are looking at the wrong things to gauge a fighters strength.

    I pointed Shoguns strengths and Jones strengths they came then gave my opinion of the fight -never said Shogun was better than Jones in everything. Come on just admit it you’re a disgruntled Machinda Fan.

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  • LiverPunch says:

    Dude I know you didn’t say that but you said he was stronger by mentioning a victory where he broke Rampages rib with a knee and out struck him and a win over Overeem in which Overeem threw Shogun around as a sign of Shoguns strength , he won but it was not because of his strength. By the way Alistair was about 40 pounds lighter too.
    Strength is strength , not striking , not BJJ but strength. You now what strength is right?. He didn’t walk through Overeem anyway. Alistair was probably winning until the end and was out muscling Shogun too.
    I said Shogun had the advantages in striking and BJJ but I thought that Jones was quicker , stronger and a better wrestler because he is. You said he is not stronger because he out struck Rampage and KOed Overeem with a big overhand while Overeem was on his back. To which I say huh?. How does that say he is stronger?.
    Shogun has had some very good victories in his time but since he lost to Coleman he has gone to a dec with a natural MW who was never that good, he has lost to Forrest , he has shown poor form against Coleman , he has been 1 of 5 to stop Chuck in his last 6 fights and has lost to Machida before avenging that loss. He is a very good fighter but he is not stronger than the ave top of the heap 205 fighter and has not been outstanding that often recently. I think Jones is better , you don’t. We will see. I have never argued that Jones has faced the kind of opponents that Rua has or that Rua was not the better striker but still you keep bringing it up. It is like I’m saying Jones is got to be stronger and you guys are saying “no he is not! Rua is a better striker”.
    Randleman , Bader , Coleman , Lesnar , Sherk and others are known to be strong , Rua is not. He is known for his striking. You are just being difficult. I suppose Rua is known for his wrestling submissions and cardio too.

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  • Niv says:

    LP-I know I said I was tapping out on the subject and I’m going to hate myself for responding but you’re all over the place.

    I as well have never said Shogun is the best at everything, and the we must think Shogun’s God’s gift to fighting comment somewhere there makes me wonder if I’m debating a 15 year old.

    I question your conclusive evidence that the mediocre fighters Bones fought were WAY stronger than Rua. Funny when you responded with Rua had a hard time with wrestlers like Kevin Randleman and Mark Coleman (that’s a criticism?) Both of those fighters were natural HW’s and both are ex-UFC HW Champ’s, and Rua beat both of them, what is this a feeble attempt at the Jedi mind trick?

    I have to agree with Iconoclastic that if you actually have watched Rua’s fights you are looking at all the wrong things to guage his strength and power.

    I can’t see how wins over Stephan Bonner (still in UFC because Dana loves him), Matt Hamill (great story never even close to contender status), Brandon Vera (out of UFC for good reason) and 39 year old Matsyushenko are greater examples, really?

    I keep saying I like Bones he has great potential but he’s in way over his head right now, the only chance he has is if Shogun’s knees don’t hold up, if they do he’s going to lose, and probably big time.

    Anyhow, I’m officially bored of this debate, fire away I’ll wait till the fights over to get your opinion, let’s try and enjoy the fight.

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  • LiverPunch says:

    OK gloves are off.
    Coleman was old and done had not fought in 3 years and Rua had an extremely hard time putting him away. Is that true?.Yes it is. Was it a poor performance?. Yes it was.
    I said Jones is stronger and you can’t understand that. you say your debating me but you are just swinging on Rua nuts you are not even listening. I said he easily out powered fighters and is that true?. Yes it is Shogun very rarely does but he was out muscled by Overeem , Coleman , Randleman , Arona and others and IS NOT KNOWN FOR HIS STRENGTH. Is that true?. Yes it fucking is. He out strikes and puts people to sleep like I keep saying. Matyushenko is 25-5 and is not mediocre Nakamura on the other hand… Look since you are so smart point out where I have made stuff up. I say Jones is stronger and I think he is going to win. You say no because he won the GP 7 years ago. Great Niv. I say he is not stronger and you guys make up all the excuses in the world and act as if Jones throwing Bonnar , Bader , Hamill and others around doesn’t mean anything. Well you are stupid then. No one else has done it have they?. No they haven’t. You are saying I can’t gauge strength?. Do you know what strength is?.
    I say he doesn’t submit people and you use excuses , I say he looked poor against Coleman when HE LOST and when he won and you use excuses. Shogun is very good for the fucking 100th time but he is not a strong 205 fighter and does not out power fighters like Jones has done to guys that are known for their strength. This is a fact and if you can’t understand that because Rua is just so super dooper then forget it. Name a fight ANY FIGHT where Shogun was clearly the stronger man at 205. I would only say Machida and that is it. Jones looked stronger against strong powerful fighters didn’t he? are you trying to ignore that or are you retarded?. Next time you decide to start insulting me because YOU are can’t argue properly and do not back up your argument with any sensible debate or even the same debate think twice. I wont tolerate it. We are debating strength right. Well give me something to prove your argument. Anything , so far you have not come up with 1 thing apart from the fact he has won fights. No fucking shit. I said “OK Rua is the best at every thing” because if Rua is the better striker better BJJ guy better strength better power what is left?. You just love Rua. Thats sweet and all but if you think Rua is going to out power Jones? I think that is stupid and I also think that you say that because , like I said , love is blind. You better send him a card on the 14th.
    Rua is so very strong. I have watched all of his fights and I’m a fan but he has never looked like he is anymore powerful or stronger in any fights I can recall but Jones has looked stronger in ALL of his fights against guys known to be strong. Hasn’t he?. YES! face it dude you are in denial. All of what I say is fact and I would love for you to participate in this debate. You have posted many times but still nothing but “Shogun is good”.

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  • Iconoclastic says:

    Niv – I think LP is well below drinking age. “He won but it was not because of his strength.” You gotta be kidding me with that one.

    Here goes one last time. Hate to give a lecture but guess this is the place to do it anyway. A punch has EVERYTHING to do with a fighters strength and it ALWAYS is a factor in a fight. When he beats fighters we can all agree were/are as strong as a horse Rampage/Overeem/Liddell, guess what that means – Riiiiiight, he was stronger than them on that occasion, ESP. in the way he BEAT those guys not on his bike tapping them with jabs but taking it to them and beating them down. Think of a punch like a shove/push – requires strength right?

    The “loss” to Coleman was a freak accident were he fell, twisted and broke his arm doesn’t even count to me. He was tapped out by Griffin but you can’t tell me the long layoff and previous surgery did not come into play.

    I am sticking with my pick, but like I said before if Jones wins it benefits AmericanMMA/UFC more so than a Shogun win so it’s all good.

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  • Niv says:

    Iconoclastic, I hear ya man, enjoy the fight I don’t care to comment anymore.

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  • WOAH LP…easy there big man. Ok, Coleman was old and done when he fought Shogun the second time I agree, but he’s still GORILLA strong. Shogun’s poor performance was due to his reconstructed knees and lack of cardio in that fight…is it an excuse…no not at all, he should’ve done better.
    I’ll conceded to Rich not being a cream of the crop contender at 205. However at 4-4 in his last 8 let’s once again revisit his last 8
    Anderson Silva(if you need an explanation here, I would lose the vast respect I have for your obvious love and knowledge of MMA) Hendo(split decision that could’ve gone either way to one of the all time greats) Vitor Belfort(once again dude come on really?) Forrest(much bigger man who just out worked and controlled him) so as a major player at 205 ok I’ll concede he isnt, as a crem de la crem fighter You cant deny he is.
    I dont think I’ve ever argued that Rua is stronger than Bones but more technical in his striking and probably in his BJJ. The Speed is one of those things we’ll have to see come fight night. Machida is extremely fast and Shogun ran him down with body kicks and didnt out muscle him. Tito has only been out muscled by Randy Machida and Hammil. He IS extremely strong(and Im sorry to ever defend or give Tito any cred, i cant stand the guy) and is almost never the lesser in the strength department. Machida staved off any clinches Tito had, and also did a great job staying off his back against a Brutally strong Rampage. Do I think he’s stronger than Bones no, but I dont think he’s a weak 205.
    On the Chuck thing fine so 1 of the 4 that have KO’d chuck werent amongst the best at 205, The others cant be denied.
    In the end dude, I never tried to be insulting, I enjoy the debate and discussion for what it is, two fans debating on the outcome of what I hope will be at least a 3 round war before one of these two superb atheletes puts the other away. If I did make any off color or insulting remarks I do apologize.

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  • Rece Rock says:

    If everytime a fighter gets in the cage it’s noted as his biggest test yet then theres no given what the outcome is going to be because obviously he’s on the come up… Once he in turn becomes the biggest test for his opponent then that’s when we should be making lopsided speculations.

    Jones has been field tested BUT has he been in a War?

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