UFC 187 will pit the devastating power of Anthony “Rumble” Johnson versus the sublime martial skills of legend-in-the-making light heavyweight king Jon “Bones” Jones. But how can the UFC odds underdog defeat the invincible Jon Jones?
Five Reasons Why Johnson Wins
We all saw the war between Alexander Gustafsson and Jon Jones which was subsequently proclaimed the 2013 Fight of the Year. It was a spectacular brawl that brought the crowd to their collective feet while nudging the champion to the brink of defeat. Ultimately, it was Jon Jones whose hand was raised but there are many who believed it was in fact Gustafsson who won the day. How then could Anthony Johnson 16 months later lay waste to this same pedigreed boxer and veteran warrior within only minutes of the opening bell? Because when Anthony Johnson catches an opponent clean... it's lights out. The same could happen here.
Let us assume that Johnson doesn’t put Jones to sleep with one lethal punch but rather engage the champ in a boxing match. Jon Jones may be just proud enough of his striking ability to eschew the ground game and let the leather fly. This could be a fatal decision as Johnson has tremendous combinations versus the one-and-done strikes Jones is fond of launching. If Jones takes this tact and engages exclusively on his feet then he could very well either find himself flat on his back or on the losing end of the judges’ scorecards.
Hands Down Rumble Shoots
Jon Jones has a tendency to drop his hands when he winds up those long, peculiarly angled and lethal kicks. His hands drop, he chambers his leg and in a micro-second flashes a devastating roundhouse, axe or hook kick. Normally the opponent has no time to react but Johnson’s power is complemented nicely by precise striking. And it is indeed that precision that could connect when Jones is least aware. If so, the end is nigh for the champ.
Stop laughing and stay with me here folks. I fully understand and appreciate the fact that Jon Jones is the superior mat tactician and should own Johnson if the fights falls to the canvas. However, I can see a world in which Jones is so beat up that he clinches to avoid any more punishment and Johnson counters with a slam to the mat (ala Rampage Jackson) only to finish off the defenseless champion. Yes, Johnson is that strong and could ragdoll Jones into a brutal submission.
Every dog has his day and as the old saying goes it’s always more difficult to stay atop the mountain than to climb it. Jon Jones has handled his business with the detached precision and proficiency of a trained assassin. Nothing rattles this guy and though his persona has polarized the MMA community there is no denying he is rapidly ascending into the rarified air of Anderson Silva, Randy Couture and those select few whose names resonate throughout the ages and carved into a mythical Mount Rushmore of UFC legends.
But that impenetrable façade was fractured when it was reported that Jones had tested positive for benzoylecgonine, the primary metabolite in cocaine, before his last fight with Daniel Cormier where he ultimately rewarded his backers and their UFC picks as a -200 UFC odds favorite. Jones checked himself into rehab for one night and reappeared a new man! Obviously Jones thought better about this public relations ploy and decided he would have none of it. But is he now a hard-partying champ bent on starring in the same tragic movie we have all seen before? If so, perhaps Anthony Johnson is catching Jon Jones at just the right time.