When talking about the top fighters in the history of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), no discussion would be complete without mentioning Jon “Bones” Jones. The former light-heavyweight champion is widely considered in the top 3 fighters of all time, and a quick perusal of his resume would certainly support this assertion.
Jones is an incredible athletic talent, standing 6ft 4in and possessing the equal longest reach in the UFC at 84.5 inches. “Bones” uses his length to his advantage in the cage, effectively using his jab, awkward kicks and devastating elbows when striking. Jones is also a true mixed martial artist, possessing some of the best MMA wrestling of all time and the submission grappling game to match.
As a teenager, Jones became a High School State Champion wrestler and would later go on to become a Junior College National Champion as well. Seeing the limited progression available in amateur wrestling, Jones quit college to pursue MMA full time making his professional debut in 2008. He quickly amassed a 6-0 record and was signed by the UFC after just 4 months of professional MMA.
Although Jones’ first professional loss came early in his UFC career, this came about via a controversial DQ, with Jones dominating the fight. After the loss, Jones was able to reel off a run of the most exciting and destructive performances ever seen in MMA, including stopping legends Mauricio “Shogun” Ruavia strikes for the Light-heavyweight title and choking Karate black belt Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida unconscious via guillotine choke.
If Jones’ run to the title and first few title defences were relatively smooth, the middle portion of his career would prove to be anything but. After gruelling fights against Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson and Daniel Cormier, Jones’ was stripped of his coveted title after crashing his car and injuring a pregnant woman. After completing his UFC-enforced suspension and beating contender Ovince Saint Preux (OSP), Jones was ousted again, this time for a doping violation.
In his latest bout, UFC 214 Jones defeated Daniel Cormier in their second, long-awaited rematch on July 29th this year for the Light-Heavyweight title and unofficial crown of the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. In the middle of the 3rd round, Jones struck with a stiff left shin to the right side of Cormier’s head followed by a trip up and a devastating flying knee to the body, flooring a now shaken Cormier. Jones followed up to seal the fate of the fight with a flurry of brutal fists and elbows.
Given Jones’ run as Light-Heavyweight champion, and the thrilling performances that he’s put on, it was a challenge to limit this list to just five. Nonetheless, we think we’ve managed to pull this off so here follows Jon Jones Top MMA 5 finishes in descending order…!
- Vs Brandon Vera, UFC Live: Vera Vs Jones, March 21, 2010
- Vs Vladimir Matyushenko, UFC Live: Jones Vs Matyushenko, August 1, 2010
- Vs Vitor Belfort, UFC 152, September 22, 2012
- Vs Mauricio Rua, UFC 128, March 19, 2011
- Vs Lyoto Machida, UFC 140, December 10, 2011
Coming off the first loss of his career, Jones’ came out with a point to prove against former heavyweight contender Brandon Vera. He took Vera down at will, and was able to employ brutal ground and pound in Vera’s guard. The fight finished when Jones landed one of his patented elbows which fractured Vera’s eye socket, rendering him unable to continue.
Similar to his fight against Vera, Jones was able to take Matyushenko down easily, no mean feat against a decorated international wrestler. Jones passed the Belarusian’s guard and rained down elbows to force the referee to step in. Significantly, Matyushenko was seen as a genuine title contender, having been an International Fight League champion previously, and this dominant victory put the rest of the Light-Heavyweight division on notice.
One of the only criticisms of Jones’ dominance in the UFC was that he was yet to face adversity in the octagon. This argument was settled after his battle with former champion and MMA legend Vitor Belfort. Whilst Jones was winning both the grappling and striking exchanges, he came perilously close to losing the fight when Belfort managed to catch Jones in an arm bar submission. Jones forced his arm free, but not before it was badly hyperextended. Jones pushed on with his injury and later submitted Belfort in the fourth round via Americana, which is among the most painful shoulder locks in MMA.
Over his career, this was perhaps Jones’ most dominating victory. Fighting for the light heavyweight championship, Jones completely trounced the incumbent Rua, taking him down at will and causing damage with kicks and elbows. Jones ended a withering exchange by landing a liver punch followed by a devastating knee, ensuring the referee would step in to end the fight.
Jones’ highlight reel was already lengthy leading into his fight with renowned karate black belt and former champion Lyoto Machida, however it was set to extend once again. In a back and forth fight, Jones showed his explosive array of skills in a 20 second span in the second round. First, he dropped Machida with a picture-perfect left hand, then set up a standing guillotine, subsequently choking his opponent unconscious. The picture of a triumphant Jones walking away from a prostrate Machida lives long in audience and viewer memory.
So there we have it, some of the best Jon Jones MMA finishes. Well, Jones is a polarizing figure outside of the octagon, his athleticism and well-rounded game made narrowing this down, difficult. What do you think about the list, did we get it right? Join in the conversation and let us know your top 5 on Facebook or Twitter!
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