Jon Jones survived a deep armbar attempt from Vitor Belfort on Saturday night and went on to tap out the Brazilian with an Americana submission of his own, but afterwards the light-heavyweight champion admitted his ground game still needs work.
“I think it was a good performance, but there was definitely a lot of room to improve,” Jones stated at the post-fight press conference. “Vitor had me second-guessing myself. I’ve just got to get more comfortable in the Octagon. I work so hard on my wrestling and so hard on my standup. I definitely need to embrace jiu-jitsu more and practice what I preach, being a true mixed martial artist and embracing all martial arts. I have to admit I don’t practice my jiu-jitsu every day.”
He’s right that there is room for improvement. Offensively on the mat he’s good – his elbow strikes are vicious and he’s now finished five UFC opponents by submission, but defensively there’s definitely holes that could be exploited.
It seems like that armbar from Belfort has served as a wake-up call for him, and a painful one at that as it’s believed he may have damaged the nerves in his arm. That’s probably going to end up being bad news for the rest of the division as it’s only going to turn him into an even more well-rounded fighter than he already is.
Nevertheless, it will be very interesting to see how Jones would cope if someone could finally put him flat on his back. That’s the one spot we’ve not seen him in yet, and the evidence suggests that may be where he is at his weakest.