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UFC 140 Aftermath Part I: Jon Jones Puts Doubts, and Machida, to Rest

Not elusive enough. (Photo: Esther Lin, MMA Fighting)

There’s nothing new in Jon Jones facing his ‘toughest test to date’; his recent fights have put him through a gauntlet of UFC champions. Searching for a style that stifles him is old hat as well; in his very short career he’s faced top level wrestlers, strikers, and even a one-of-a-kind karate specialist. And doubting the light-heavyweight champ? That officially became passé last night too.

While all of the smart money was being plunked down on Jon Jones, most acknowledged that Machida’s unique style would pose an interesting challenge to the young champion. Finding Machida with the end of your fist is a tough enough chore when you’re not spinning and twisting through the air, and Jones found that out in the first round. His flashy kicks and punches came close to finishing the Dragon’s shadow, but the intended target was long out of range by the time the twirling had ended. A pair of solid body kicks and a few stalking combinations gave Lyoto the round and momentum headed into the second frame against a suddenly more-human Jones.

“Bones” found himself on the losing end of the exchanges early in round two as well. Machida, who has made a career of the unorthodox, seemed able to predict what Jones would throw before he’d even thought of it. And that’s when it finally happened: Jones got hit. It wasn’t a jaw-dropping widow-maker, mind you, but finally we had contact, significant contact. Though Jones staggered backward at bit, he quickly regained his composure and did what champions do—he took over. A takedown followed by a brutal elbow to the forehead drew blood. Lots of it. Momentum had shifted, and Jones was certain the fight was his.

“When I opened him up with the cut, my confidence level went to a whole other level,” Jones told Ariel Helwani post-fight. “I was like, ‘Oh yeah, you’re bleeding! And now let’s play this game.”

Back on their feet after the cut was cleared by ringside physicians, Jones pressed Machida to the cage and sunk in a standing guillotine. As he repositioned his grip to maximize the torque on his go-go-gadget arms, the lights began to fade for ‘The Dragon’ and his body went limp. Referee “Big John” McCarthy stepped in and Jones released his hold, the only thing propping Machida up on his feet. As Lyoto and his bid for a second UFC title came crashing to the canvas, Jones coolly walked away with yet another incredible stoppage victory. Machida was game and his performance helped the pair secure the $75K Fight of the Night bonus, but the end leaves no doubt that Jones is simply on another level.

In any other circumstance, Jones’s 2011 run would be considered career defining. But how could it not be for a twenty-four year old with only three year’s experience under his shiny, gold belt? Jones didn’t just defeat Bader, Shogun, Rampage, and Machida; he stopped them, painfully, without getting hurt. Anything can happen in MMA where the tides turn quickly—the “Machida Era” was better timed with a stopwatch than a calendar–but everything I’ve seen indicates that Jones’s reign over the light-heavyweight division has only begun. There will always be a new challenger posing a new challenge, but they’ll be facing a new, more evolved champion each time he steps foot in the cage.

 

- Chris Colemon (@chriscolemon)

 

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sachlvetica- December 13, 2011 at 9:32 pm
A tribute to Korean Zombie's epically legendary victory!
http://url.sachl.me/sK6bCf
Robpd22- December 13, 2011 at 1:19 am
Hi Xeno I have read your posts for a long time. I had a longer response but shortened it to the following.
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Yeah Dana and Zuffa make money on these guys winning, and yeah they would pressure all of these 3 to move weights if it meant profits. I just don't think it's in the best interest of the fighters to move.
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Jones could probably go up and beat people like Barry and Hunt..... but who would cares? It wouldn't change either division. He wont ever be HW champ so why even mess with the division... that's my point.
XENOPHON- December 12, 2011 at 4:43 pm
@Robpd22 Says
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You make a good case about the weight, in the heavy-weight class, but not all the fighters there weigh in at 265...and several stand at less than 6 feet. Lets see if I can convince you and this audience, otherwise.
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Mark Hunt is only 5'10 and weighs 261. Pat Barry is 5'11" yet weighs about 240. While Jones is 6'4" (at a large 205 during weigh in) his reach is 84.5". Stephan Struve on the other hand is 6'11", and has a reach of 84 inches.
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As for Anderson Silva...he can come up in weight, or Jones can meet him half way. Silva is 6'2", 184 pounds, and has a reach of 77.6 inches. In Silva's case, he has already fought at light-heavy weight and decimated former champ, Griffin in round 1. So he has absolutely not one problems fighting at 205.
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Dan Henderson, at 5'11", 203 pounds with only a 71 inch reach, is like Anderson. He too has fought as a middleweight, light heavyweight, and HEAVYWEIGHT.
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So you tell us more, how or why Anderson can't come up, or Jones can't drop down, or go up in weight? Do you really think is still so stupid?
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Now lets stop talking about these fighters for one minute, and talk about each of us. (mostly) Average fucks who sit around typing, instead of stepping into a ring like big boys.
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A year plus out, I was weighing in at about 235, then dropped to 174 for a military need over a 6-7 month period. I used only a no carbs 800 calorie diet - and hit the gym 2-3 times a week, for 3-4 hours each visit. Case in point, at 43 years then, I am no phenom or super star athlete. Just average, and I am normally 190-195 pounds as I am today.
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If an man who is 44 can do it, these fuckers who live and breath for conditioning with the best diets and trainers, and who are between 24 years- 41 years old (in Hendo's case) surely can fight in and at multiple weight classes.
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And their boss (that ugly looking fucker), who owns their ass per an air-tight contract sure as fuck can tell any of them who sniffles at the thought, to do it - especially when he is charging $50 fucking dollars a television set, per event.
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Lets all be honest, we can all agree - its not as if the UFC upholds any true rankings for their fighters. They make matches that bring in money, that is their first priority as a promotion.
Robpd22- December 12, 2011 at 2:06 pm
"Eventually, all (even the slow thinkers) will ask, why isn’t Jones fighting guys his own size as a heavy-weight?"

Maybe you mean guys closer to his own reach? Asking a fighter to fight guys 60lbs bigger than his current weight is beyond stupid. Jones is one of several guys who make a good case for a 220 or 225 division, but you cant expect him to put on 50+ pounds to compete.

This is also the same reason Anderson shouldn't and won't come up to 205 just for Jones. He can pop up and fight the weaker 205 competition but not a champion who is on the large size for the class.

Same with GSP going up as well, these super fights sound like fun on paper but you are putting the smaller fighter in an huge hole stepping into the cage.

The gap from LHW to HW is the worst, nobody can try to bridge that much of a weight difference and without piling on a bunch of wasted weight .
XENOPHON- December 12, 2011 at 12:14 pm
@ringjoker80
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I think Machida was the best challenge to Jones, or will be the challenge in that division. Problem is, I don't Machida getting a second chance anytime soon.
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Absent an injury Jones has 3 additional hurdles. One if he fights Anderson, and wins convincingly - he can claim could have easily owned the lighter weight belt. Failing to engage Anderson will always leave doubt.
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Eventually, all (even the slow thinkers) will ask, why isn't Jones fighting guys his own size as a heavy-weight?
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At 24 he steppes others, but fighting so frequently - I love it - but his physical ability may falter.
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Watching someone else beat Jones is unlikely, but if it happens once, what happens if he loses twice? In either case, his immortality disappears forever.
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And what happens if he gets movies deals, that suck him away for a years or more - if that happens, from what we saw of Rampage, Couture, Carano, and Le, the odds are Jones would't be the same fighter he is today.
ringjoker80- December 12, 2011 at 7:39 am
@ XENOPHONE

TRUE A MAJOR INJURY WOULD BE A BLOW TO HIS CAREER UNFORTUNATELY LOOK AT GSP NOW BECAUSE GSP IS A MACHINE BUT THE INJURY BUG HAS BIT HIM HARD AND I WANTED TO SEE HIM BEAT DIAZ. YOU AND I BOTH KNOW THE ENDORSEMENTS WILL KEEP COMING AS LONG AS THAT BELT IS AROUND HIS WAIST. I AM HUGE FAN OF UNORTHODOX FIGHTERS SO WE WILL SEE WHAT KIND OF FUTURE "BONES" MAKES FOR HIMSELF.
Dagnut- December 12, 2011 at 12:31 am
Why would Anderson Silva fight Jones? he won't is the simple answer... the guy is 36 years old and cruising in the MW division it makes no sense for a him to fight Jones...Anderson Silva has earned his place, worked hard for it...He will fight Sonnen, beat him, retire and maybe come back for a couple of hand picked "super fights"...but they won't be against Jones...one thing Anderson is not is stupid...Jones has to potential to seriously hurt someone..I mean seriously...the damage he is inflicting right now is nothing to what he will be dishing out in 2-3 years time...it's up to the other LHW's to figure him out(which they won't) not an ageing MW.
Todd M- December 11, 2011 at 9:00 pm
Good article Chris, Jones wiped away any lingering bit of doubt I had in him last night, he was tested early and overcame the adversity by once again showing how dangerous he is in all areas. Not only did he sub a BJJ black belt but he set it up with a beautiful counter punch, on a guy that is notouriosly hard to hit. Jones is a bad mother fucker man and I don't see Hendo or Rashad having any luck with him, I'm not going to go as far as to say he is unbeatable though because the next Jon Jones could always be just around the corner, but damn I think allready he is the most dominant fighter in the game.
Gay Maynard- December 11, 2011 at 8:37 pm
Sorry I meant Light Heavy Weight....
Gay Maynard- December 11, 2011 at 8:36 pm
Instead of complaining about Jones and crying about how the next guy is going to get him, just sit there and be happy we have a light weight champ that isn't going to win it and lose it just as quick.. he gives no one a reason to hate him, he doesn't talk shit like a fool or act like a retard, he's a good champ and has great fights. He already fucked up three recent former champs... what else does he have to do to earn everyone's respect? I'm not going to sit here and suck on his nuts like other people are, but everyone has to admit, the guy has talent. You have to think tho, doesn't this remind you of when Anderson Silva or GSP started their rein on their own divisions? People started to hate on them, and guess what their still there. You all have your opinions, thats fine, but next year when he's still fuckin people up, All you haters that are talkin shit now will be singing a different tune.
krhasto- December 11, 2011 at 5:49 pm
There is a fighter people are sleeping on right now that has the potential to challenge Jones : Alex Gustaffson with an improved wrestling and BBJ.
XENOPHON- December 11, 2011 at 5:42 pm
@ringjoker80
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I see what you say stands on its own. At a youthful 24, and pushed by the external influences (and parasites) around him - coupled with the pressure to over-perform per his contract, a contract that forces him to operate at a high tempo...
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....the odds latent in probability dictates, its the unanticipated injury that will side rail your boy.
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One thing he could do, is to rake in on the brand name like his sea-daddy Anderson does via all those fucking lame endorsements.
XENOPHON- December 11, 2011 at 5:37 pm
@CCMAN
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As your gentlemen GSP once said:
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"I'm not impressed with your performance."
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If you believe GSP is genuine, then I suggest you take a look at some of the flamie - faggotie pictures CP linked to.
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Yeah the ones with GSP and his boyz nearing a nut-to-butt on the couch.
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I have seen lots of pictures of GSP with chicks, even groups of chicks, and in jacuzzi's with chicks. Problem is he is more like the guy working behind the counter at the Bath and Body Works store.
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He would rather be around women, then mack on them. Much like the homosexual kid in the suicide video the CP humanitarians posted.
ringjoker80- December 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm
unless he has a clone jon "bones" jones will be the champion of the ufc for awhile. remember other champions watch the ones who have the belts. believe me no champions want to lose their belts. he is simply the young ali, young tyson, etc of the ufc. somebody better respect him before he fights, because fighters sure are humbled after the contest. go bones, continue to shock the world.
ccman- December 11, 2011 at 3:45 pm
The question on jones hate has little do with ability. Fake is one way to view the problem, and he suffers the same problem as lebron, he carefully constructed a persona which his reality can't hold up. Obama has the same problem, when orchestrated gives a good vibe, when off the cuff leaves everyone wondering where the nice well spoken version went. GSP'S is genuine and you don't see it get altered so we don't have the roller coaster reaction.
SonOfSerbia- December 11, 2011 at 12:47 pm
make the superfight already....Bones vs The Spider.....that's the only match we care to see....Rashad will get schooled, Davis will make for a boring wrestling match, Hendo will gas, Shogun will get wrestlefucked, no one can hang with Jones right now...might as well sell some PPVs while the spider's still relevant
RearNakedSpoon- December 11, 2011 at 11:15 am
"Jon Jones Puts Doubts to Rest" I doubt he can survive against someone his own size, feel free to put that one to rest a.s.a.p.
XENOPHON- December 11, 2011 at 11:05 am
Oppps...I see RwilsonR, beat me to the punch. We have a third!
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Silva and Jones has carried, and it happened long ago.
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Here's a question. How long will that fight take with the fucks at Zuffa sitting there, with fingers up their ass?
XENOPHON- December 11, 2011 at 11:02 am
After reading the good comments, they stemmed from another good piece.
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Lets have a Cage Potato survey. This time ask, who is the best writer.
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My money says, - Chris Colemon (@chriscolemon) wins a free CP shirt.
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Anyone disagree with me?
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Come on Editors Russell and Finklestien, do a survey. Its free.
smellypiratehooker- December 11, 2011 at 11:00 am
loved how lil nog gave Tito the ol' 4 point knucle, exploding rib technique. "I'm making rib bones in to coffee tables...I just making them into coffee tables"
XENOPHON- December 11, 2011 at 10:52 am
@Sho Nuff
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I got a question that was obvious towards the end of the fight. If Machida had lasted past 2, even out to the 4th or 5th - how long would Jones have been able to keep up with the energy-zapping spins and spinning kicks?
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I spy that they take lots of energy - and it started to show in Jones. Flash has a place, but everything flash on a camera only last a seconds at best - after that bro, its recharge time.
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Not even the pink bunny can last at the rate Jones fingers his flash.
XENOPHON- December 11, 2011 at 10:46 am
Thank you - MediumRare.
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Its now seconded, can we hear a third???
XENOPHON- December 11, 2011 at 10:44 am
Another valid option:
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Allow Diaz/Jones to scrimmage in a catch fight. Diaz has the height, the cardio, and the reach advantage would be only 8 inches to Jones. (with Machida it was about 10 inches)
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Also, Jones power would not find such a soft face in Diaz - as had happened so often in the past with the other fighters.
MediumRare- December 11, 2011 at 10:40 am
Don't think Jones will get beat at LHW.
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Anderson needs to take a fight against Jones.
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Might have to wait a few years, but I can't wait to see a bulked up Jones take on the heavyweights.
XENOPHON- December 11, 2011 at 10:38 am
Quote: "Though Jones staggered backward at bit...."
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His feet did more than stagger, they butterflied in midair until he was lucky enough the punch wasn't 100% on mark, which allowed him to stay standing.
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Quote: "....he quickly regained his composure and did what champions do—he took over."
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No, he didn't take over, Jones ended up on top of a take down. That happens 50% of the time to fighters.

Quote: "A takedown followed by a brutal elbow to the forehead drew blood. Lots of it. Momentum had shifted, and Jones was certain the fight was his.
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No, yes he secured take down points, and even a well place elbow. What he couldn't do was keep Lyoto grounded long.
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It was likely the dazing elbow, and the lack of cognizant recover that led to the sloppy Machida stand up, and ultimately Jones exploited both Machida's fazed slopiness, and his own 10 inch advantaged torquiness as he secured a head lock.
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Poor little ref didnt have a eagles view of the right side of Machida going to limp, Jones acknowledged he knew Machida went to sleep.
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So it was late call, big deal. It was the end of any light-heavy displacing the throne.
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From here, two options. Force the pansy Silva to step and see who is pound for pound the best, or make a catch it weight to be fair. Unless Silva and Jones fight soon, it will be a match akin to the Shamrock-Tito debacle(s) that will be forced on us in 4 years, when no one is left to care.
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or Option Two: Allow Jones the opportunity to dismantle any other light-heavy champs (Forrest and Rashad) then punt his ass to the heavy area. (only after he faces Silva first.)
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With Jones pace, he could accomplish all in less than a 2 years. And the UFC would have some contented and happy fans for those 24 months.
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