Wednesday, 23 March 2011

HYDEN BLOG: Discussing Jon Jones vs. Anderson Silva

By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch contributor

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I think my stance on Jon Jones has been clear. I've said repeatedly that I believe he will go down in history as one of the all-time greats. In a recent blog, I listed Jones and Jose Aldo as the two most likely to be as dominant and great as Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva. I've been on the Jon Jones hype train for quite some time, but it's important to remember that we shouldn't prematurely crown a new era too early. "The Machida Era immediately comes to mind, but with Jones this feels different, this feels more legit.

By no means is Jon Jones invincible. It's possible that Rashad Evans goes out there and beats Jones for the Light Heavyweight title. It's possible, but not probable. I don't see it happening, but the fight world is full of surprises.

One big factor that goes into me saying that Jones has a chance to go down as one of, if not the, greatest fighter in MMA history is his age. Jones is 23 years old, which is almost unbelievable given what he's already accomplished. Barring major injury, how good will Jones be in five years? How good will Jones be in 10 years? Jon Jones won't turn 35 for nearly 12 years. At 23, Jones is nowhere near his physical prime, and he's only going to get better. Jones has a reach of 84 inches, which is crazy. Once Jones learns to utilize that better, he'll be practically unhittable. The power jab is be a major weapon for Jones.

MMATorch Editor Jamie Penick has brought up that Jon Jones vs. Anderson Silva is a bigger mega-fight than Silva vs. Georges St. Pierre. This is assuming, of course, that Jones beats Rashad Evans and Silva beats Yushin Okami. The only issue I have with that is that I'd like to see Jones fight a few more high-quality opponents before trying to topple the man I consider the greatest fighter of all-time. I realize, though, that we don't have that time to wait. Silva turns 36 in April, and there's no guarantee that he has the Randy Couture genes that allow a fighter to maintain an elite level well past the age where normal men start to diminish.

I'd love to jump into a time machine and see a 29 or 30-year old Jon Jones fight a present-day Anderson Silva. Unfortunately, that's just not possible. That said, I'm definitely on board with a Jones vs. SIlva bout. However, as big a fan of Jones as I am, I have to go with Silva for the win. It certainly wouldn't surprise me too much if Jones were to beat Silva, he is that good. However, I think Silva's experience would give him the edge here. I think it would be a great fight, perhaps a career highlight for both men, but I still favor Silva. Given a few more years of training and high-level fights, I think the fight would be a toss-up. At the current stages of their careers, though, I have to go with Silva.

Comments and suggestions can be e-mailed to me at hydenfrank@gmail.com

Source: http://www.mmatorch.com/artman2/publish/hydenstake/article_8837.shtml

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