This past Saturday at UFC 140, light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones successfully retained his title against Lyoto Machida.
With the win, Jones moved to a professional record of 15-1-0, with his one loss coming from a disqualification from an illegal elbow.
So Jones has still yet to lose a fight straight up. Which brings the question — “Is he the best fighter in the world?” This is always one of the most difficult things to determine, whether or not a fighter in one weight class is the best throughout all weight classes.
For the longest time now the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world have been Anderson Silva (UFC Middleweight Champion) and Georges St-Pierre (UFC Welterweight Champion).
So it is hard for me to put Jones over two guys that have not lost a fight in years and have had dominance over their respected weight classes for a long time — even with Jon’s near spotless record.
The most remarkable thing about Jones is that he is only 24 years old. Not only has he taken the UFC by storm but also he has done it at such a young age.
When Jones won the title back in March, by knocking out Mauricio Rua, I did not think he would become as big as he is.
Following that win, Jones successfully defended his title for the first time when he defeated Quinton “Rampage” Jackson via rear-naked choke. By now everyone knew that Jones was for real — if they didn’t know already.
There was no more calling Jones a fluke or saying that he had yet to face anybody, he had now defeated two of the top Light Heavyweights in the world.
His next step was former champion Lyoto Machida; beating Machida would surely put Jones in the elite class of fighters, regardless of weight class.
Well Jones finished off Machida in the second round on Saturday via a standing guillotine choke, showing no signs of slowing down.
His second title defense, his 15th career victory, and another step to becoming one of the best Light Heavyweight fighters in UFC history.
Right now, I would place Jones in the top five of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Keep in mind that his meteoric rise has been aided by all the hype about him.
Well-deserved hype, I might add, not trying to take anything away from his performances because he has been nothing short of amazing.
But let’s keep in mind that there are other fighters in other weight classes that are having similar reigns.
Still though, Jon Jones is becoming a household name. He is still very young and has much more room for improvement – which makes it even scarier for his future opponents.
Jones may indeed become one of the best light heavyweights of all time, but let’s give it some time and see him successfully defend his title a few more times before we put him in that discussion.
Remember, his first twelve wins were when he was climbing the ladder facing other fighters that may not have been on a high level, now that he is the champion he will only face the top contenders in the world. Let’s see how he fares.
Tyler Rollason is a Winder-Barrow High School graduate and mass communications major at the University of West Georgia. You can e-mail comments about this column to email@example.com.