"Every man can be beaten," is a quote we've heard from many fighters. Throughout history it has been proven virtually true one way or another with fighters in both boxing an MMA. However Jon Jones rapid ascension to the top of the most prestigious division of the UFC has many people thinking that he may be the exception to another rule.
It's been about a month now since Jon Jones has won his title. Before the fight I had a feeling that whoever won the fight would win it in dominant fashion. I wondered what would happen if Jon blew through Shogun like he's blown through everyone else. We all saw what happened the answer to the question is that most people pretty much put everyone at more or less a punchers chance with him. Some have also speculated on the methods to beat him and many of the theories have come from what questions about his game. However I think I have devised a gameplan that can beat Jon Jones.
Before the fight people laughed when Jon said he was going to stand with Shogun. Jon Jones is my favorite fighter and I felt as though he was BSing him and us. He made a fool out of everyone and beat Shogun up standing and on the ground. As if that wasn't remarkable enough a bit over a month prior he threw an All-American wrestler around the cage without breaking a sweat. So Jon Jones just out struck one of the best strikers in his division and outwrestled a high level wrestler. He clearly has no weakness, right?
Wrong! Jon's striking is still his weakness. Now I know some of y'all are thinking, "Haterslayer you dumb brah, I just saw Shogun tapped to strikes." The thing with Jon Jones striking weakness is that you have to know when and how to attack it.
Jon's striking has improved a lot since he's been in in the UFC and even more since he's joined Greg Jackson's. Before he knew how to throw all the fancy crap, but he didn't know when to throw it. Now he knows went to throw it, but he's not really that accurate with it. That is his FIRST flaw. Jon Jones is simply not an accurate striker. Remember that awesome front kick that Anderson Silva did against Vitor Belfort? How many of those kicks did Anderson throw? One. Poor Jon must have thrown that same damn kick like 3-5 times and a couple of times it connected, but not how it should have so Shogun kept on trucking.
Jon's second striking flaw is that he does not have power. Now Jon Jones is a light heavyweight so he CAN knock anyone out if he hits them in the right spot. However he does not have just raw KO power like some people do. Even someone like Paul Daley would have more natural power than he does. There are people who when they touch your face you go out and Jon isn't that type of puncher.
So we have two flaws we can exploit, but there is a third thing that everyone has overlooked so far...
This final thing isn't a flaw, but it's a strength that you can take away. Fighting Jon Jones is like trying to stop a car from rolling down a hill. If it's not moving its easy, but once he starts its very hard or impossible to stop. Since he's gotten with Jackson's as soon as he gets "the lead" in a fight it never becomes even close again. He becomes impossible to stop. This is exacerbated by the fact that people seem to let him attack first.. He then ends up landing something(flying knee on Shogun and a TD on Bader) and then he keeps going and going until he simply breaks the other fighter mentally(Shogun tapping to strikes and Bader pulling guard) or physically(Hamill and Vera). Bill Belichick of the New England Patriot always gameplans to take away what you're best at. This ability is Jon's biggest asset. He uses it to break other fighters and if you use it against him then you will break him.
The basics of the plan is to be aggressive, but not be a dumbass. It's similar to what Chael Sonnen did against Anderson Silva. Before that fight I wondered why no one went in aggressive against Anderson until I saw his first UFC fight against Chris Leben where Leben got destroyed within a minute. The difference between Chael and Leben is that Chael wasn't swinging like someone in his 3rd day of boxing training. He threw nice combos and intelligent punches. If you mix that with some head movement then you'll dominate Jones standing.
So you need to do something similar, as soon as the fight starts use head movement and throw the first punch. During a fight, on the UFN: 24 card IIRC, Duke Rufus yelled to his fighter, "Throw punches, I don't care if you land just throw them." When fighting Jones you need to adopt that mentality. You NEED to stop him from getting off first or you simply will not catch up. Like I said before be smart. Another aspect of being smart, in this case, means avoiding the clinch at ALL COSTS.
It is evident now that if Jones grabs you then he will throw your ass like a Frisbee. You're not going to out-wrestle him so don't try. So when you throw your combos then do not punch your way into the clinch. If anything start bailing out on the 3rd punch just in case he counters and tries to clinch. That is all you need to worry about. He doesn't really have punching power or accuracy, like we said before, so the chances of him KOing you while you're coming in is slim. Him taking you down in the clinch isnt, and, if you get taken down then you're going to lose the round if you're lucky. Jones is in the echelon of elite ground fighters. If you hit your back then you aren't getting back up or threatening him unless your Rodger Gracie.
The final thing is the capitalize on mistakes. Chances are Jon will start throwing some high risk stuff. I would normally say to dive in for a double leg as soon as he starts spinning, but a strategy similar to what Shogun did would be best. Wait until he misses then counter. The reason is you don't really know what Jones is gonna spin around with. If you get his back DO NOT do retarded stuff like Shogun did and go for leg locks. Either try and stay on his back standing and try to hit him or try to take him down and end up on top somehow. Basically a bunch of low risk stuff. If worse comes to worst then push him in the cage and Couture him until he escapes.
So that is the Blueprint:
- Don't let him get momentum at the start of a fight
- Use combos, but don't go for homerun punches
- DO NOT CLINCH
- Make him pay for missing high risk moves
As with any gameplan it's easier said than done, but using what we already know about him and his fighting style then it's the best course. Oh and the fighter who I think can best impliment this plan?