I know I'm going to be called delusional, or a "hater" for daring to criticize Jon Jones, but I think this nonsense really needs to be cleared up. After seeing Jones' impressive victory over Machida, many people have been quick question where he ranks among the other pound for pound greats of MMA. We've heard Dana state that Jon Jones has climbed up to the number two spot. Others have brazenly leapfrogged Jones all the way to the position of best fighter in the world. What has been ignored in the course of these events, is what the term "pound for pound" actually means. If anything, it is a question which asks: If size wasn't a factor, which fighter would be the victor?
It's easy to look at a series of victories over top competition and make the determination that a fighter is the best in the world. It's even easier when said fighter is a young phenom with a massive hype train behind them. What takes effort is to truly consider what would happen in a hypothetical match up between Jones and any of the other top fighters in the world. Realistically, it would be hard for me to pick Jones to win in said hypothetical matchups. I say this because I don't think Jones as complete of a fighter, yet. There is no doubt that he is a great fighter, with impressive physical gifts, stellar wrestling and a drive to learn and improve himself as a fighter.
Right now, I think his biggest weakness is his standup, it's still raw and ugly. He has sick kicks, but he rarely uses his hands. Frankly, it's wishful thinking to say that he controls distance well. He let a fighter with a 10 inch deficit in reach tag and hurt him repeatedly. Part of that could be attributed to Machida's style, but most of it falls on Jones inability to control distance, and his tendency to leave himself exposed and undefended. Jones is no Struve, but he doesn't seem to realize that he can use those freakishly long arms to keep his opponents knuckles away from his face.
I just feel that his incompleteness as a fighter, would cost him against the other top pound for pound fighters, in a hypothetical match up. Guys like Cruz and Edgar are bad stylistic match ups and would most likely beat him in a decision. GSP would get in and out and tag him constantly, and with his power, could very well finish him. With his speed, reflexes and technical vicious striking, Silva would probably KO Jones at 185. Even in a 205 lbs superfight, I could see Silva picking Jones apart on the feet. At heavyweight, the technical boxing and terrifying power of JDS would probably be too much for Jones to handle, and would result in a brutal KO.
The point I'm getting at, isn't that Jones doesn't deserve respect for his wins. He is an amazing young fighter who has shown that he is one of the absolute best athletes on the planet. I just don't think he would beat the other champs in a fight, and as such, is not deserving of a place higher than them in any list of top pound for pound fighters. At some point in time, Jones may be the greatest fighter in the world, but for now, he isn't. However, if you do think that Jones is deserving of high pound for pound rank, I would like to see your reasoning.