Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is one of the greatest martial artists ever to step inside an octagon. For years, Jones was the No. 1 men's pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC, and he has never been finished or outscored in his entire career.
Jon Jones holds numerous records in the UFC, including the most title defenses, most wins, longest win streak, and most submission victories inside the octagon. He has wiped out almost the entire 205 lbs division during his reign as champion and suffered just one loss in his entire career; that in itself was a controversial disqualification loss for hitting his opponent Matt Hamill with illegal elbow strikes.
What makes Jon Jones such a dominant fighter?
His fighting IQ is second to none in the sport. Jones is considered by many as the most intelligent fighter ever to have graced the octagon. Much of Jones' success inside the cage is attributed to his adaptability and technique. Jones is one of the most dynamic fighters in the game, continually evolving with time and altering his game to adapt to his opponents' styles.
Jon Jones has time and again displayed the mastery of range inside the cage. He relies on defensive wrestling, an unorthodox Muay Thai, and a Jeet Kun Do influence striking game to inflict damage on his opponents. Jones is known for his diverse kicking arsenal which includes roundhouse kicks, front kicks to the head and body, and the deceivingly damaging 'oblique kick' to the knee.
Jones is a brilliant fighter from the clinch as well. His spinning elbow and knee strike often catch his opponents off guard. On the ground, Jon Jones has displayed world-class positional control and can pierce through the toughest of guards.
In this article, we take a closer look at the various martial arts styles that Jon Jones uses in his fights.
Wrestling is one of the most underrated aspects of Jon Jones overall game. In reality, though, wrestling was the first martial art that 'Bones' was introduced to on his journey of becoming one of the greatest fighters in the UFC. Jones was an exceptional high school wrestler and later became state champion at Union-Endicott High School in New York.
Throughout his career, Jon Jones has faced some of the premier wrestlers that the sport has to offer. Jones even fought a former Olympian in Daniel Cormier. However, when Jones faced DC at UFC 182 in 2015, Bones scored takedowns almost at will and beat the former two-division champion comprehensively in his own game.
Apart from Alexander Gustaffson, nobody has ever been able to land a takedown on Jones in his entire career.
Jon Jones is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is more than adept at controlling a fight on the ground. He uses his reach to control his opponents on the floor and continues to look for opportunities to submit them. However, what truly sets Jones apart is his ground-and-pound technique.
He knows how to land heavy blows with punches and elbow strikes even from short distances from the top mount. This skill helps Jones pierce his opponent's guard with better accuracy and also causes severe damage. He has finished many fighters with ground-and-pound from the top position in his career and continues to be one of the most dangerous fighters on the ground.
Jon Jones' dynamic and unassumingly practical striking skills are heavily influenced by Muay Thai, also known as 'Thai Boxing'. Muay Thai is characterized by fists, elbows, knees, and shins, and Jones has mastered the "art of eight limbs".
Jones understands range better than most people in the sport and uses stinging jabs to maintain distance. He is an expert at mixing things up and uses various feints to set up his actual attacks. Unpredictability is a key element of Jones' striking. His spinning kicks, oblique kicks, and hook kick often take his counterparts by surprise thanks to the elaborate setups.
When on the offensive, Jon Jones throws a lot of roundhouse kicks to wear down his rivals' legs. He methodically slows his opponents down and then gets down and dirty with them from the clinch. Jones uses a wide range of elbow and knee strikes to pick his opponents apart.
Jon Jones trains at the Jackson Wink MMA Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a gym co-owned by Gregory Jackson. Jackson founded his own martial art and named it Gaidojutsu, a combination of wrestling and kickboxing techniques with basic catch wrestling and judo locks. Jon Jones is a black belt in Gaidojutsu under Greg Jackson and incorporates all of the styles above in his game.Published 09 Jan 2021, 22:56 IST