Last week it emerged that next in line for 23 year-old light-heavyweight phenom Jon ‘Bones’ Jones would be TUF season 8 winner Ryan Bader.
A win over the previously unbeaten Bader would allow Jones to take another solid step towards a title shot, but it seems he’s less than enthused by the match-up.
“I’m actually really sick of fighting this type of style. Matt Hamill, Matyushenko, Jake O’Brien…they all have that similar kind of style,” Jones tells Inside MMA when asked his opinion about the fight. “Their main focus is that double leg dive and sub-par boxing.”
After that rather damning assessment Jones goes on to describe his ideal match-up.
“I’m ready to fight some strikers, I’m ready to fight some south paws, I’m ready to really mix it up.”
Of course it’s worth pointing out that Jones has fought strikers too like Stephan Bonnar early in his UFC career, and more recently Brandon Vera.
Regardless of the style of opponent he’s faced the one common denominator so far has been that they’ve all been handily dispatched by Jones.
Apparently ‘Bones’ still feels he has a lot to prove despite the many accolades he’s received for his recent performances.
“I’m trying to secure a respect level with my wrestling. I’m sure Ryan Bader, the advantage he’ll have going in is to be the better wrestler and I’m going to try and prove the UFC wrong again.”
In many respects Jones is the perfect antidote to the boring ‘lay and pray’ wrestling that has rose to prominence in MMA.
The beauty of it is that he too has built his style from a wrestling base. Unlike many others though, Jones has an unusually offensive approach to wrestling, putting an emphasis on acrobatic throws and vicious ground and pound rather than clinching up against the fence and stifling his opponents on the mat.
Unlike many of his wrestling peers Jones has refused to settle for mediocre stand-up to complement this, instead spending countless hours honing his skills to become one of the most dangerous, unorthadox and exciting strikers around.
It’s an exciting and effective combination, and if he keeps winning then it may just become the new blueprint for success that future MMA prospects will strive to emulate.