For those of you who may not know, Jon Jones is currently in a contract dispute with Dana White and the UFC. The man has been on an absolute tear his entire career inside and outside of the octagon. The bumps in personal life have spilled over into his career, as is the case for most athletes.
This is something that Dana has brought up in the most recent negotiations with the champ and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. This has pushed Jon to threaten vacating his belt and retiring… something that got me thinking; what would we be missing if Jon retired right now?
For starters, let’s put things into perspective. He is universally known as the greatest light heavyweight (205 lb limit) of all time. Depending on who you ask, they may tell you he is the greatest fighter of all time. I am one of those people. I believe that if you remove the stains from his legacy outside of fighting, there would be no debate on who is the greatest ever.
For starters, he has only lost one fight, a disqualification from a few illegal elbows in a fight he was dominating. In another one of his fights, he knocked out one of the greatest fighters of all time in Daniel Cormier. But shortly after Jon tested positive for steroids, so this is now ruled a no contest. But besides that, the man’s record and technique are flawless.
As for the other guys he fought, they were all finished or beaten via decision with only a couple of close fights. There isn’t one man who has walked away from the fight thinking that he beat him. When Jon Jones steps in the ring, he usually dominates.
Recently his fights have been going to decision as he said he likes to prove new things to himself. It would be too easy for him to finish the fight early, so he challenges himself to fight 5 rounds. Aside from Dominick Reyes, nobody in their career has out-struck Jon. Along with the sheer volume of strikes he gives you, he is one of the most unique strikers we have ever seen in the UFC.
With all of that being said, he is one of the best athletes we have seen. If he weren’t brutalizing guys with spinning elbows and flying knees, he would probably be in the NFL alongside his 2 brothers (Arthur Jones has retired but Chandler Jones is still an elite pass rusher) . I don’t see an argument for any other light heavyweight to take over the division as well as the ‘vacant’ title right away.
There are a few names that come to mind, but most of the ranked guys in the division have already been beaten by Jon. He would be walking away from the sport on top, which only a few of the all time greats can say. We would have a wide open light heavyweight division for the first time since UFC 128 when Jones embarrassed the then champion Maurico ‘Shogun’ Rua.
After Henry Cejudo walked away and stunned the world, which has seemingly left the Flyweight and Bantamweight divisions wide open, I’m not sure if the UFC can afford to have another one of their top dogs leave. They should pay the man what he is asking or else they may lose the greatest fighter we have seen thus far.
Thank you for your support