Two Major Reasons Jon Jones Could Be Going Downhill

Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson Fight Video UFC 165 Flashback ...

2.) He’s Beginning To Lose Rounds:

Another chink in Jones’ armor, albeit a potentially small one, are the rounds he lost against Gustafsson and Cormier. It’s a minor complaint to be sure, but none of the illustrious fighters whom Jones decimated during his early days as champion even so much as had him in trouble.

Machida may have hit him with a clean shot, but the fact that that was such a big feat only served to show Jones’ dominance at the time.

He evolved to beat a fighter of his own massive size in Gustafsson and an Olympic wrestler in Cormier, but those wins were much more hard-fought than those of 2011-2012. Even his win over Cormier.

Yet the classic war with Gustafsson at UFC 165 in September 2013 is obviously the most glaring example. Accused of not taking “The Mauler” seriously, Jones was routinely picked apart on the feet and taken down for the first time ever. If not for a huge spinning back elbow in the fourth round, the judges could have easily awarded Gustafsson the decision win.

And it’s the fact that he almost lost for the first time of his career (we’ll discount his DQ loss to Matt Hamill here) when he fought an opponent of similar size and striking ability that should be most disconcerting for his fans.

He’ll potentially get a chance to prove all of the doubters wrong if Gustafsson can get past Anthony “Rumble” Johnson in the main event of January 24’s UFC on FOX 14; if he cannot, then Jones will most likely square off with Rumble. Both fighters are huge, hungry, talented, and powerful light heavyweights who would still be substantial underdogs to the surging Jones.

Rightfully so, but either opponent will most likely bring a firefight that may not allow Jones to fight safe with his clinch game and takedowns. Of course, he could also smother them and use his reach and diverse striking to score a dominant decision over either one of them, and on paper, that’s a more probable outcome.

However, it’s also hard to argue that Gustafsson did not provide the blueprint to defeat Jones even in defeat, and he also took the champ’s aura of invincibility with him that night. That could be something that kickstarts the beginning of the end of Jones’ reign.

A huge fan of MMA since the 'Dark Ages' of the UFC, I pride myself on keeping up-to-date on all news and developments surrounding the sport. I've watched it grow from shunned spectacle to the lofty position it enjoys now, and it's been a great ride!