It’s more than safe to say that UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones entered the discussion of being the greatest MMA fighter of all time with his at-times dominant decision win over Daniel Cormier in the main event of last Saturday night’s (January 3, 2015) UFC 182 pay-per-view (PPV) event from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In fact, many believe (myself included) that “Bones” did enough in beating Cormier to overtake Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre, and Fedor Emelianenko as the greatest MMA fighter of all time despite being only 27 years old. With a 10-fight win streak and eight title defenses under his belt, Jones has beaten some of the sport’s most hallowed names, and perhaps most impressively, he’s done it by breaking down his opponents in their strong suit.
He outwrestled accomplished wrestlers like Cormier and Chael Sonnen, outstruck dangerous strikers like Alexander Gustafsson, “Rampage” Jackson, and Glover Teixeira, and even submitted Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belts like Lyoto Machida and Vitor Belfort. “Bones” is wholly well rounded, and while his detractors would have you believe that much, if not most, of his success is due to his massive size and reach advantage, his immense level of talent, skill, and accomplishment has undoubtedly made him one of the best fighters MMA has ever seen, if not the best.
Jones is fully deserving of his No. 1 spot on the pound-for-pound list; that much is not on trial. However, despite all of his dominance and even his continued improvement, there have been a couple of small signs that could lead to “Bones’” first loss in the octagon.
True, it’s tough to bash a fighter that has been dominating his opponents where they fight best, but every champion inevitably declines. You might think that now is not the time to discuss any semblance of pending doom for the decorated champion, and you could be right.
But even though Jones’ downfall may be quite a ways off, the groundwork for it may have been laid long before he even embarked on his grudge match with Cormier.
Let’s examine two key reasons why Jones may have peaked at UFC 182.