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Jon Jones Doesn’t Think Lyoto Machida Is Christ or Bruce Lee

(Bones puts a hurtin’ on Andre Gusmao at UFC 87. Photo courtesy of MSNBC.)

Saying you have Anderson Silva figured out? Old and busted. Saying you have Lyoto Machida figured out? New hotness. In a recent interview with USA Today (via MMA Mania), undefeated light-heavyweight prospect Jon Jones flexed his trash-talk muscle for the first time:

“I think Machida is getting a lot of hype, and I know he has lots of big wins over a lot of big fighters, and a lot of experience over me. I don’t think he’s Christ; I think he’s very beatable. They’re looking at him and his karate like he’s Bruce Lee. He’s not Bruce Lee…I honestly believe that a great Muay Thai champion will beat a great karate fighter any day; it’s been proven on lots of occasions.

If Machida has (the belt) by the time I get to that level, I’ll be ready for him. I’ll have a lot of game planning and a lot of strategy ready. I want to be that greater Muay Thai fighter to beat a great karate champion. I don’t think Rashad Evans came with any type of game plan, but to look really cool or look really fancy, dancing around in pretty footwork stances. He really didn’t come up with any way to beat him. I didn’t see any of his strengths. I didn’t see any takedown attempts or any straight right hands that are always good against southpaws or anything. He was just out there looking flashy.
I’m going to go out there and pull the trigger if I ever get to fight Machida…I know I have a lot of time before I get to that level of fighting him, but when I do, I definitely won’t be nervous or intimidated by him at all, and (I’ll be) ready to fight him.”

Ever since Jones picked up his second UFC win by dominating Stephan Bonnar at UFC 94, fans and journalists have been calling him the future of the light-heavyweight division. And the praise is justifiable — we just didn’t expect all the accolades to go to the 21-year-old’s head so quickly and dramatically. If there’s anybody who’s succumbing to hype in this situation, it’s Jones himself.

Can a great Muay Thai champion beat a great Karate champion? Perhaps, though no striker has been able to touch Machida so far. But more importantly, Jon Jones isn’t a great Muay Thai champion — he’s a great Greco Roman wrestler, who learned much of his unorthodox striking from YouTube videos. Sure, those spinning elbows and flying knees have frustrated "good" fighters like Gusmao and Bonnar, but I wouldn’t put much faith in them against the measured and eerily precise assaults of Machida.

Calling out guys who are higher on the food chain than you is a great way to keep your name in the head of matchmakers. Sometimes it even works. But Bones, you should know two things: 1) Rashad Evans did have a game plan, as did everyone else who’s ever lost to Machida, and the plan simply didn’t work. Men make gameplans, and Lyoto laughs. He would do the same to you. 2) Rashad’s lack of takedown attempts probably did contribute to his loss. You’re a wrestler too, but you think your Muay Thai is going to beat his karate. You seriously don’t see the irony here?


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InsomniatriC- July 7, 2010 at 9:30 am
Machida loves it when his opponent presses the action. He's a counter striker. It's technical mastery, it allows him to almost always win very one sided fights and walk away with no damage. His style involves inflicting the most damage and absorbing the least. That's IMO the best way to strike with somebody.

It's also what Anderson Silva does (although Silva seems more aggressive than Machida, he still is predominantly a technical counter striker), and he's considered the best striker in MMA.

And whoever said that they should do a Silva vs Machida, I think that would be a VERY boring fight. You put two technical counter strikers in with each other, who have the same basic strengths (fast, accurate, hard to hit, etc) and you get a very boring fight.

In that fight though, I'd say Silva would win. He's got a significant reach advantage, and I believe he is faster, more accurate, better chin, hits harder, and is more of a finisher. And I'd say his BJJ is superior as well.

The fact that Machida is rumored to do better than Anderson in sparring doesn't really mean anything. They're very good friends, and Anderson is of course not looking to KO his best friend, especially if they're sparring. If they were not friends, and if it really came down to it, I'd say Anderson would KO him.
InsomniatriC- May 19, 2010 at 11:59 pm
I've seen Jon Jones get taken down by featherweights before (not kidding, it was on a WEC Primetime, I think it was either Cowboy Cerrone or Leonard Garcia that took him down.)

And he has the right to even think that he could figure out Lyoto Machida?

Yeah. Right.
Than- June 29, 2009 at 1:09 pm
Its interesting I've never seen an athlete who is so talented at his sport yet so ignorant of it.
Dagnut- June 29, 2009 at 9:02 am
Who'd win in a fight..a dog with 3 legs or cat with a spear for a tail?
Dubbayoo- June 27, 2009 at 2:40 pm
Great Muay Thai Champion beats good karate fighter.

Ok... Great champions are often pretty good. Just sayin.

Great Karate Champion/MMA fighter becomes LHW Champ beats rest of LHW div? Good possibility.
newdeal- June 27, 2009 at 1:39 pm
there is no way in hell that kicking is the way to beat machida as the second poster said...if you try to stay outside and hit machida he will take a tenth of a step back so you miss and then run in and you will get ktfo while you try to get your foot back on the ground. That is the most retarded idea of all time. IMO the best way to beat Machida is to trick him. As soon as he smells any blood he rushes in with a fury of punches. Take a shot, pretend to be hurt ( hopefully you aren't) then when he rushes in take him down. The only place he is likely vulnerable is on the ground, Tito almost caught him in a triangle for gods sake if Tito can do it someone with some ground game should be able to come up with something
reddog- June 27, 2009 at 11:59 am
Jones is humble in that he clearly states he isnt on that level....YET. but his is on crack if he thinks there is some pure muay thai person to beat Lyoto. Lyoto has trained in striking his whole life. His is a BJJ expert as well. He has no usual weaknesses.
But anyone that thinks bullrushing Machida wont work is wrong as well. It just hasnt worked yet. Machida is human, and he can have an eyes rollin back moment at any time. No one has gotten a good punch, YET.
shartacus- June 27, 2009 at 8:09 am
Keyser Soze sucks Lemur cocks
RickyRobbie- June 27, 2009 at 6:44 am
*cough* *cough*
NECROPHYTE- June 27, 2009 at 2:39 am
What ever happened to Greg Jackson is a child molester!? lol!
Chri534.- June 27, 2009 at 1:04 am
Well, Lyoto also beat up Rich back in '03, so judging by that Machida will probably going to clean out the rest of the division with relative ease. And then Rich will fight his way up and get stopped again at the is the curse of Rich Franklin. Ever since Anderson, he's always doomed to be the bridesmaid, never the bride.
robthom- June 26, 2009 at 6:27 pm

I like this kid.
I'd like to see him beat up jackson too.
831 Son- June 26, 2009 at 6:18 pm
Oh my god I thought the same exact thing. I would love to see Tony Jaa in the UFC or WEC, that dude is insane. It would be nice to have some different styles in MMA besides the norms also. UFC should be more like the movie Bloodsport in which there is savage ass practitioners of various martial arts.
Keyser Soze- June 26, 2009 at 6:02 pm
OK, so really not sure about the love of bum darts and bromances among some posters here, except to say it's pretty damn sad. Go hang out on Plentyoffish assclowns.
Dante- June 26, 2009 at 5:39 pm
just some dong- June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm
ROFL@ shartacus

Da fuck, man!?!
ihateemo- June 26, 2009 at 3:46 pm
By the time Jon Jones gets a title shot, Machida will be long done in MMA.

He's probably hoping to take Machida on under such conditions to save himself the ultimate ass whooping.
shartacus- June 26, 2009 at 2:57 pm
Dante farts dildos
meanfinger- June 26, 2009 at 2:55 pm
since everyone is talkin out their ass on here. .im gonna say spider vs. machida.. that would b a good match up.
NateGetsIrate- June 26, 2009 at 2:52 pm
I wanna see Tony Jaa in the WEC.
shartacus- June 26, 2009 at 2:46 pm
This reminds me of the old "penis vs. anus" conundrum. On one hand, the penis, when erect, has the power of penetration and can also be used when pulled back to the side to effectively strike with a quick whipping motion when released. The anus of course remains stationary and can be penetrated easily, causing extreme discomfort to the owner of the aforementioned anus. Although the anus appears defenseless, once it has been preturbed it can "protract" inducing severe disgust in the owner of above penis, rendering it useless and ineffectual. These problems don't solve themselves people
One Two- June 26, 2009 at 2:37 pm
machida sucks balls he keeps all his weight on his back leg leaning back all ya gotta do is press him thats why he takes of running when anyone does. first real fighter he faces shogun will kick the ever living shit out of him watch. he only has the belt cuz of a bs decision in the rampage fight making the belt a piece of paper up for grabs by anyone.
jksisme- June 26, 2009 at 2:25 pm
Of course Machida isn't Christ or Bruce Lee. That honor goes to Anderson "El Savior" Silva.

On a serious note I wouldn't mind seeing them fight down the road after Machida takes care of Shogun. I think it would be a pretty decent fight.
Dante- June 26, 2009 at 2:24 pm
I don't give a fuck about how you spell your name. eat a dick.
Deadpanda- June 26, 2009 at 2:24 pm
In my opinion:

a Muay Thai fighter with X amount of skill is always going to beat a Karate fighter with X amount of skill (the variable being equal).

But is there a Muay Thai fighter who's as well rounded in MMA as Machida is, while matching his Karate expertise with equivalent Muay Thai skills (I'm talking Muay Chaiya & Paak Klang forms of muay thai)?

(For reference: Alan Belcher uses the Paak Klang form & Tony Jaa uses a 'movied up' version of Muay Chaiya)