Bones Jones Dominates, But 'The Spider' Rules The Web
By Cary Newborn
Jon Jones' performance in Atlanta for UFC 145 was nothing short of impressive.
Two judges scored the five-round championship fight 49-46, while the other judge scored it 50-45. Bones' opponent, former Jackson teammate Rashad Evans, seemed to have no answer all night for how to get to Jones, or how to stop Jones from imposing his will.
In his striking, wrestling and even defense, Evans continued to come up short or a second too slow. After a frustrating night for the battered and beaten former champion, Evans watched as the 24-year-old Jones once again raised his arm in the middle of the cage as the judges' scores were read.
Immediately after the fight, the talk began. Jones, George St. Pierre, Anderson Silva and a few other names are in the conversation for the best pound-for-pound fighter in MMA today. Many think it is already Jones, some think it is St. Pierre and then there is Anderson "The Spider" Silva.
It is hard to go wrong with any of those three, but UFC middleweight champion Silva may make the best choice for pound-for-pound fighter in mixed martial arts today. Silva arrived in the UFC in June 2006 and started his UFC career with a devastating 49-second, first-round knockout of Chris Leben from "The Ultimate Fighter" with knee strikes.
Four months later, Silva knocked out champion Rich Franklin in similar fashion, this time needing 2:59 to win the middleweight title. From there, he knocked out the following well-known MMA fighters: Travis Lutter, Nate Marquardt, Franklin (for a second time), Dan Henderson, James Irvin, Patrick Cote, Forrest Griffin, Demian Maia, Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami.
Silva cleared out the entire division from challengers, something Jones has yet to do, although he seems to be on his way. Silva, recovering from an injury to his rotator cuff, will have a rematch of his toughest fight since he's been in the UFC at UFC 148 in Las Vegas July 7. He will face off with Chael Sonnen, who was beating Silva before Silva stopped him with a triangle submission in August 2010.
Although Jones has shown the potential to clear out the light heavyweight division, he is not yet on the same level as Silva and St. Pierre. The future is bright for Jones in the UFC, but right now Silva still rules the pound-for-pound tangled web.
1. Anderson Silva
2. George St. Pierre
3. Jon Jones
4. Jose Aldo
5. Ben Henderson
The Fight Card
May 15: UFC on Fuel TV -- Fairfax, Va.
May 18: Bellator 69 -- Lake Charles, La.
May 19: VFL 37 -- Purcellville, Va.
May 25: Bellator 70 -- New Orleans, La.
May 26: UFC 146 -- Las Vegas, Nev.
June 1: Ultimate Fighter Finale -- Las Vegas, Nev.
June 8: UFC on FX -- Sunrise, Fla.
Issue 173: May 2012