Tuesday Top Ten

Tuesday Top Ten: Jon Jones Performances

Jon Jones has had an incredible comeback story as of late after finally recapturing the gold at UFC 214: Cormier vs. Jones 2. His performance in that fight was just one of many that he has showcased for nearly a decade. This list will highlight some of his most impressive wins inside the octagon. The ranking is determined by how dominant Jones was in the fight, who the opponent was, how important the fight was for Jones, and how the win was achieved.

#10. Brandon “The Truth” Vera

vera-vs-jones_604.jpg

In this often overlooked bout, Jones was able to take Brandon Vera down with a beautiful takedown to gain top control. Vera would then land two illegal upkicks to Jones’ face while his knees were down. This angered Jones as he then was able to land a vicious elbow strike that put Vera in a vulnerable spot for Jones’ ground and pound. The fight was then stopped as Jones was able to pick up the victory in brutal fashion.

#9. Ryan “Darth” Bader

jones_bader_007.jpg

Ryan Bader was undefeated in 12 straight MMA pro fights when he fought Jon Jones a UFC 126. Jones was able to use his reach advantage to outstrike him untill Bader pulled guard. Jones was then able to get a guillotine choke from the top position to give Bader his first ever loss.

#8. “Suga” Rashad Evans

 

mma_ufc152_29.jpg

Jon Jones and Rashad Evans had a heated rivalry that saw the two finally meeting for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Evans was clearly outmatched as Jones was able to do just about everything he could do only better. Jones schooled Evans in every possible way and was able to get the decision victory and retain his UFC title.

#7. Vitor Belfort

mma_ufc152_29

Vitor Belfort felt the power of Jon Jones’ incredible striking and grappling in this fight. He was unable to get much done in this fight due to Jones’ huge reach advantage. Finally a gassed Belfort succumbed to an Americana by Jones. Submitting a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt is never easy which is why this win was so impressive for Jones.

#6. Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson

7686814

In what was considered a fight of the year, Jon Jones showed his determination and resiliency against one of his most evenly matched opponents. Alexander Gustafsson has a lengthy frame similar to Jones and has great striking and grappling as well. He was also able to take down Jones for the first time ever in this bout. Some still debate that Gustafsson did win this fight because of ho close it was. Either way, this was one of Jones best performances because of how hard he had to dig to retain his championship.

#5. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson

920x920.jpg

Jon Jones became the first person to stop Rampage Jackson in this crucial fight in his career. He kept Rampage on the outside with his striking and was then able get him to the mat to secure a rear-naked choke for the win. It was a clear message that no matter the opponent, Jones was able to put them away regardless.

#4. Chael “The American Gangster” Sonnen

strike.png

When Jon Jones met the brash Chael Sonnen, he finished him in his fastest UFC title fight to date. Jones was able to take Sonnen out with a collection of elbows and punches to retain his title. The quickness of this bout is what makes it so impressive seeing how Sonnen was able to bring the fight to Anderson Silva in the past. It just shows that Jones is always looking to finish the fight as quickly as he can.

#3. Shogun Rua

mma_shogun_jones2x_576.jpg

This is the fight that crowned the youngest UFC champion in history. Jon Jones absolutely destroyed Shogun Rua in what was one of the most one-sided title performances in UFC history. It is pretty brutal to watch if you’re a Shogun fan. The fight was a beat down by Jones who put Shogun away with a few well placed knees and then follow-up strikes.

#2. Daniel “DC” Cormier

824381174.0.jpg

Many questioned whether Jon Jones still had it in him to get the win against the incredibly tough Daniel Cormier. He answered that questioned when he was able to knockout Cormier with a perfectly timed and well placed kick that sent Cormier stumbling to the mat which ended his title reign in dramatic fashion. It was an incredible performance by Jones who managed to make a long-awaited comeback after facing so many demons throughout his life. But it is not his best performance…

#1. Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida

096lyotomachidavsjonjones.jpg

Jon Jones dropped Lyoto Machida to the mat in spectacular fashion, and it wasn’t due to strikes either. Of course, he did hurt the karate black belt but it was a standing guillotine that put Machida to sleep. The iconic image of Jones walking away from Machida’s unconscious body was a highlight of Jones’ career and is the number one best performance in his incredible career.

What Next?

What Next? (UFC Fight Night: Manuwa vs Anderson)

Fighters do not always like to think what fights they will be in next after feeling the relief of finishing their last fight. The fight game is neverending, however, and so I list ouf the best outcome for the winners and losers for the UFC event that shook London up.

Arnold Allen:

Arnold Allen is still developing as a fighter and might not be cut out yet for a ranked fighter. However, I did see some fight in him as he was always looking to strike and throw down with his opponent while still looking for the takedown. This reminds me of Gray Maynard who just lost to Ryan Hall in a odd contest. Maynard felt it was not a real fight as Hall was constantly going to the ground to get a submission. If a fight is what Maynard wants then Allen is he guy he is looking for. Allen can also use this fight to push him closer to the rankings and see if he truly deserves the record he has accumulated. Gray Maynard

Makwan Amirkhani:

Makwan Amirkhani needs to get back in the win column again by facing a guy who holds a similar record but has lost in their last fight as well. Luke Sanders is the only guy who comes to mind who held an eleven fight win streak to start off his career before he suffered his first loss at UFC 209: Woodley vs Thompson 2 to Iuri Alcantara this past month. It will be interesting to see the to styles matchup and see who could bounce back from a loss to secure a win. Luke Sanders

Marlon Vera:

Malon Vera just beat a retiring Brad Pickett who has one foot out the door. He needs more serious opponents before he can get a top 15 opponent. Franky Saenz would be that perfect opponent even though he is on a three fight losing streak. But because Saenz is a very tough competitor with an impressive record this makes him the right pick. Beating two big names in MMA would definitely put Vera on the map. Franky Saenz

Gunnar Nelson:

This is a tough one as there are several good oponnents for the submission specialist. Donald Cerrone was a high candidate seeing how the two are ranked right next to eachother but this matchup does not appear to be the best one. I believe a match between Gunnar Nelson and Neil Magny would be an exciting one. Magny was able to beat Johnny Hendricks by a controversial unanimous decision at the closing part of last year which makes him a tough opponent to beat. Nelson has the tools to do it though and would love to rise through the ranks fast so this matchup seems like a smart one if Magny doesn’t avoid it like the one with Jorge MasvidalNeil Magny

Alan Jouban:

Another tough selection with all of the great welterweight fighters out there but Jouban needs to go back to the drawing board and face an unranked opponent. At first Alex Oliveira was my pick for him to fight but then I decided that it would not be fair for Oliveira to face another unranked opponent after he has defeated three of them so far. Alex Morono is the next logical choice if he sees himself entering the octagon more recently. He put on a great display in Houston despite losing the contest and would be the perfect opponent for Jouban. This contest would result in fireworks and may make a star out of it. Alex Morono

Jimi Manuwa:

Without question, Jimi Manuwa should be facing the light heavyweight champion after that impressively quick knockout of top contender Corey Anderson. He has a solid case and would love to have a crack at either Daniel Cormier or a rematch with Anthony Johnson. Winner of Daniel Cormier vs Anthony Johnson for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship

Corey Anderson:

I feel sorry for Corey Anderson. He is an incredible athlete who got caught by an impressive striker. I feel like he deserves a rematch with Shogun Rua but that likely won’t happen. Volkan Oezdemir is a great opponent who just beat Ovince Saint Preux not too long ago. The contest between Anderson and Oezdemir would be a good one because of the rankings the two hold plus their all-around skill set. Volkan Oezdemir

Who You Got?

Who You Got? (UFC Fight Night: Manuwa vs Anderson)

The UFC returns to London when top light heavyweight contenders Jimi Manuwa and Corey Anderson take eachother on in the main event for a potential shot at the gold. Here are my picks and predictions for how the fights will go down:

Arnold “Almighty” Allen vs Makwan “Mr. Finland” Amirkhani

Both fighter in this fight have had a similar journey in the UFC. They have both competed in the same events in their last two bouts, one being at UFC Fight Night: Silva vs Bisping and also both getting a submission victory at UFC Fight Night: Jedrzejczyk vs Penne. Their journeys may have been paralleled up to this point but now they will intersect as they face eachother in this featherweight matchup. Both are rising stars in the UFC but in this matchup Amirkhani has the slight edge due to his ability to dominate his opponents consitently where as Allen has struggled against some of his opponents. Allen has never been submitted and I believe he will be able to defend that against the highly skilled Amirkhani but do not expect a win. This will be a tight matchup and a confident pick cannot be made but a pick has been made nonetheless. Makwan Amirkhani via Decision

Brad “One Punch” Pickett vs Marlon “Chito” Vera

Brad Pickett hopes to end his career with a win against Marlon Vera. Pickett has had an up and down career but has recently been on the losing end more than often with a record that includes five losses in his last six fights. Vera has had better success with only three losses in his last six fights. He has also had success with submitting his opponent, which has been proven to be Pickett’s weakness which is what he usually loses to. As much as I want Pickett to go out with a win, I see Vera winning this by submission early on but perhaps Pickett’s heart will push him to last a while longer especially in his home country. Marlon Vera via Submission in Round 2

Gunnar “Gunni” Nelson vs Alan “Brahma” Jouban

Both of these fighters are incredible athletes who will more than likely hold a title sometime down the line. However, they battle for a ranking in the already competitive welterweight division. Many people would believe that Gunnar Nelson would be the favorite in this fight due to him being from Europe where the fight is taking place therefor being a crowd favorite. Also he is from the same training camp as Conor McGregor. Alan Jouban, on the other hand, has done an amazing job at submission defence while under the training of Eddie Bravo with only one submission loss in his nineteen fight career. Nelson specializes in getting submissions because of his training from Renzo Gracie. But when the submission does not come, he usually fails to secure a win. Jouban is a specialist in Muay Thai and will look to either knockout Nelson but like many others will fail to do so. My pick still goes to Jouban but the finish wont come easy. Alan Jouban via Decision

Jimi “Poster Boy” Manuwa vs Corey “Overtime” Anderson

This fight will greatly impact the future of the light heavyweight division. If Manuwa wins then he will have a strong case to challenge for the belt. If Anderson wins then Shogun Rua will be able to petition for that elusive title shot. Unfortunatly for Shogun, Manuwa looks destined to win this one. He has knocked out fourteen out of his eighteen opponents. Anderson has lost to both Shogun and Gian Villante while Manuwa has lost to only two elite fighters in Anthony Johnson and Alexander Gustafsson. If Anderson wins this then it will be a huge underdog win. I believe he will not be able to handle Manuwa’s striking speed and power. It’s no question for me. Jimi Manuwa via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 1