What’s the Formula to Beat Jonny Bones Jones?

Posted: March 21, 2011 in MMA
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Jonny Bones Jones

Remaining undefeated in the fight game is quite a task. Only Rocky Marciano was able to do it in America for a number of fights significant enough to be called a career (49-0). It’s unrealistic to expect such a feat to be duplicated. Although Jonny Bones Jones can’t be expected to have a 49-fight career, he seems like the first prospect that has a real chance of a reasonably long, undefeated career. Nevertheless, there’s a significant chink in his armor that he better fix or he may find himself just another UFC lightweight champion that couldn’t hold onto his belt.

About Me

I’ve been a fan of the Ultimate Fighting Championship since March 11, 1994, when I ordered UFC 2. Okay, actually, it was March 12. I attended a kickboxing card in which my instructor was fighting, so I had to order the replay, which started after midnight. In any case, I’ve been following this sport for quite some time. I worked as the IT guy for the Battlecade: Extreme Fighting in 1996, starting just after their first event. I narrowly avoided being arrested by the Montreal police along with the fighters after EFC 2. Some really great guys that I hung with at the after party for EFC 3 were Maurice Smith, Matt Hume, and Joe Moreira. Maurice was the only one of the three that was outgoing, and to this day I lay claim to being the first person to whom he proudly proclaimed his best move of his championship fight: reversing Marcus Silveira’s mount. For a kickboxer fighting a jiu-jitsu expert, that was quite an accomplishment. It’s great to meet people that remain just ordinary guys even when they’re are at top of their industry.

Arrogance

So, that’s my background, which is probably more than you need, but I enjoy reliving the good old days. 🙂 Let me tell you what has always aggravated me about MMA fighters: Arrogance. In UFC I, the first MMA pay-per-view in American (world?) history, Ken Shamrock, a strong guy who was competent in both striking and grappling, worked exclusively towards setting up and applying a leg lock on Royce Gracie, a guy with no real striking ability but tremendous submission fighting technique. The result was predictably disastrous. Even though Shamrock was no slouch on the ground and a leg-lock expert, Gracie had absolutely no striking ability. I’d have outboxed him, and I’m a nobody. Why would Shamrock try to grapple with a guy known only for grappling when his standup skills were far superior? The answer is arrogance. He was trying to prove that he could out submit the submission expert, and he got what he deserved, a blood choke. It’s not like his brain was using that blood anyway considering his strategy.

Granted, sometimes it’s a tough call. When you have two fighters that are fairly well-rounded, they’re better off taking whatever opportunity comes their way rather than try to force their game immediately. That makes sense, but on the other end of the spectrum is Couture-Toney. You’d have to agree that it would have been foolish for James Toney to have tried to take down Couture, or for Randy Couture to have thrown a single punch from his feet against Toney. To this day, you still can say that most fighters are far superior in one area than another, and opposite styles are often pitted against one another by the fight-makers.

So, you’d think after 17 years and 127 UFCs later (not to mention other fight cards for other promotions), the fighters would be smarter. That is, a striker, for example, wouldn’t try to prove he’s a better grappler than a true grappler. Instead, he’d stick to what he knows best and avoid what his opponent knows best. That would lead to the best chance of victory, and winning is the job of every fighter first and foremost.

Bones’s Weakness

Well, if you think that, you’d be mistaken. Jonny Bones Jones displayed this type of arrogance in his fight against Shogun. True to his pre-fight hype, he insisted on proving to the world that he’s a better striker than Shogun. Luckily for Jones, he is, and Shogun failed to give proper attention to his conditioning for this fight. Nevertheless, Bones’s arrogance could have cost him the fight. If anyone is capable of getting in a lucky punch against a superior opponent, it’s Shogun. Bones should never have taken that chance, going to the ground in rounds 2 and 3 only when Shogun took it there with desperate submission attempts. Just because it happened to work out this time doesn’t cut against my argument at all.

But What About the Fans?

Yeah, I know you have a lot of ignorant fans out there that just want to see blood. To appease that large part of the fan base, the UFC has to give fighters an incentive to put on exciting fights. The fight-of-the-night, best knockout, and best submission bonuses do that. I don’t discourage these awards. It’s far better for me, as a knowledgeable fan, to see resolution. Decisions suck, and more often than not there is serious disagreement with those decisions.

Nevertheless, being a professional fighter is, well, a profession, and the first responsibility of the professional fighter is to win. Fight-of-the-night bonuses mean nothing if you’re no longer on the roster because you’ve lost too many fights. Fighters with poor records that stay on the roster because they’re exciting are a rare exception in the grand scheme of things. These guys have a family to feed, shelter, and clothe. Asking them to sacrifice that in order to satisfy your bloodlust may not be unfair, but it is unrealistic.

Besides, was Bones’s ground-and-pound against Vladimir Matyushenko boring!? Hell no! One of Bones’s gifts is that he’s exciting no matter where he brings the fight. He simply has no excuse for not playing to his strengths while avoiding those of his opponents.

Conclusion

All of this is speculation, and believe me when I say that I’m terrible at picking these fights. I always pick based on my heart rather than my brain, so I picked Bones to win (by the 2nd round by TKO or KO) even though I knew he’d pull this garbage. He’s just too good, and Rua – a great champion in his day – is too far past his prime. (He beat Machida only because of a favorable stylistic match-up; every other UFC fight for him has been embarrassing, meaningless, or both). Sooner or later, though, the law of averages will catch up to Bones. A good striker will get in that one shot that changes the fight. Considering how good Bones is, it really doesn’t have to be that way. Absent injury or illness, there’s no reason a guy like that ever has to lose.

So the formula to beat Bones? Himself. Bones + Arrogance = a new UFC lightweight champion.

Don’t let it happen, Jonny.

Postscript

By the way, if Bones gets arrogant against Rashad and decides to outwrestle the wrestler, the result will be the same as it was with Bader. Rashad doesn’t have a prayer.

War Bones!

Follow me on Twitter @MMADork
Follow Jonny Bones Jones on Twitter @Jonnybones
Follow the UFC on Twitter @UFC

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Comments
  1. […] lightheavyweight champion Lyoto “the Dragon” Machida and current UFC lightheavyweight champion Jonny “Bones” Jones. This post is written in that context, so if you haven’t read the prior posts, this one might be […]

  2. […] lightheavyweight champion Lyoto “the Dragon” Machida and current UFC lightheavyweight champion Jonny “Bones” Jones. This post is written in that context, so if you haven’t read the prior posts, this one might be […]

  3. […] we get to the main event. I’ve written three posts analyzing Jon Jones, analyzing Lyoto Machida, and dealing with a possible matchup between the two. While that’s a lot […]

  4. […] champion, Lyoto Machida, I remind you of a few of my posts relevant to this fight. The first, What’s the Formula to Beat Jonny Bones Jones?, is about the one hole in Jones’s game. The second, Machida’s Unsolvability, discusses […]

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