UFC on Versus Preview: The Judo Chops of Jon Jones

I know I'm excited about this Sunday's Jon Jones vs Brandon Vera headliner at UFC on Versus so I thought I'd share some of the reasons for my excitement by linking back to my two Judo Chops on Jon Jones. First up, Jon Jones' Greco-Roman Clinic from UFC 94:

There was plenty of technique on display at UFC 94. I really had to think about what I wanted to talk about most -- George St Pierre's Superman Jab probably merits a column, and Lyoto Machida's footwork and trips were very nice but for my dollar, Jon Jones' display of Greco-Roman wrestling against Stephan Bonnar was the coolest of all.

For one thing, despite so many high profile MMA stars coming from a Greco-Roman background -- Randy Couture, Matt Lindland and Dan Henderson leap to mind -- I really can't recall ever seeing such a clinic of flashy greco moves in one bout.

Jones caught Bonner with a variety of flashy takedowns, including the suplex that's pictured here. I've talked about the suplex recently so I'm not going to focus on that beyong saying it's a classic greco technique and is perfect for MMA -- flashy and crowd pleasing and the slam does damage as well as scores points.

The move that really caught my eye was the lateral drop with double overhooks that Jones' landed at the end of the second round. There's a step by step explanation of the lateral drop fromTheMat.com that describes what Jones did pretty well (note that he had double overhooks on Bonnar, rather than the more customary over/under grip shown at TheMat).

The legendary Smoogy did a really good breakdown of Jones' throws from UFC 94 on the UG, I've cut and pasted some of it in the full entry. 

Then after he deconstructed Jake O'Brien at UFC 100 I did a Judo Chop on The Integrated Game of Jon Jones

To beat Jake O'Brien, Jones seamlessly integrated all three phases of the MMA game -- striking, takedowns and submissions.

Jake O'Brien seemed to present some interesting challenges for Jones. So much so that a certain idiot who didn't do enough research on the fight I even picked O'Brien to win the fight. I hadn't accounted for Jones' enormous 8" reach advantage. I also failed to take into account the fact that Jones' standing game incorporates a LOT of kicks where O'Brien sticks strictly to boxing.

It did take Jones a full round to feel out O'Brien before he ramped up his attack. And what he did really made me a believer in this kid. Lots of MMA fighters have great technique in one or two areas, but only the very best are able to transition from one aspect of MMA to the next. I'm thinking of Fedor Emelianenko, Georges St Pierre, Randy Couture, B.J. Penn, Lyoto Machida -- fighters who use strikes to set up take downs, take downs to set up submissions, feint take downs to set up strikes, etc.

What Jones did was brilliant. First he faked a double leg take down and when O'Brien crouched to sprawl, Jones switched up and caught him with a spinning back elbow (pictured). It wasn't quite a perfect kill shot, but it clearly stunned O'Brien and forced him to do what freestyle wrestlers tend to do when they're hurt -- shoot for the double leg take down.

Jones sprawled and threw off the first shot, but a desperate O'Brien immediately tried again and Jones sprawled and then caught him in a very nice no arms front choke.

More in the full entry:


From Smoogy on the UG (Smoogy made the gifs and identified the moves, the information about each move is stuff I found online:

Jonesbonnar1_mediumHere is my breakdown after consulting with UGer Yatsuzaki, who actually trains UFC:

  1. Harai Goshi/Sweeping Hip Throw. 
    "Harai goshi starts like ogoshi, but involves also swinging the leg and hip to the outside of the opponent's hip. This modification requires slightly better balance, but pays off by giving the throw more power while simultaneously blocking one of the opponent's escape routes."
  2. Deashi Harai/Forward Foot Sweep
    "One common method used in Danzan-ryu Jujitsu is the outside-in method of sweeping an opponent's foot. It is accomplished by initially having a firm grip on the opponent while facing him or her. The attacker then moves the foot to the opposite side of his opponent (right foot to opponent's left side, or vice versa), to sweep the opponent's opposite leg out from underneath him. Simultaneously the upper body must compliment this push-pull motion with a great deal of power being generated from the rotation of the hips."
  3. Arm spin
    "The arm spin in wrestling allows you to throw an opponent off balance, setting up the next move. This technique is all about speed and accuracy. Performed well, the arm spin is a useful tool in the wrestling toolbox. "
  4. German Suplex
    "Technically known as a belly to back waist lock suplex, the wrestler stands behind the opponent, grabs them around their waist, lifts them up, and falls backwards while bridging his back and legs, slamming the opponent down to the mat shoulder and upper back first. The wrestler keeps the waistlock and continues bridging with their back and legs, pinning the opponent's shoulders down against the mat. The regular pinning variation can be referred to as the German suplex pin. The wrestler can also release the opponent in mid arch, which is referred to as a release German suplex. Sometimes, rather than bridging for a pin, the wrestler may roll himself into another position to perform the move again, often referred to as multiple or rolling German suplexes."Jonesbonnar3_medium
  5. Lateral Drop
    See above.
  6. Martian Manslam (aka Deashi Harai with some serious oomph on it)
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