Who ya got? There are compelling arguments for who should win on both sides. This is a really tough fight to call. Both are very capable of winning. This isn't like a Hardy/GSP type fight where everyone pretty much knew the only way Hardy could win was by catching GSP standing. Can't wait for this fight though.
I'm gonna actually go with the upset and say that Jones wins this one.
Jones has a rare combination of incredible reach, size, speed, explosiveness, strength, skill, great transitions and an unorthodox style that I think is going to give anyone in the LHW division some problems. Unless he chokes mentally and can't handle the pressure of fighting for the title (like Florian), I think he'll take the belt from Shogun.
And even if Shogun does manage to win, I think you'll see Jones come back even better and take the belt a little ways down the road; similar to GSP's rise to the top.
I know I might get thrashed for this, but I'm having really hard time seeing how this could be a close fight if Shogun comes in healthy and 100%.
Lets start with the fighters condition since I already mentioned it. What we don't know is weather Shogun has been able to train 100% and if his knee is okay. Against Machida he was able to go 5 rounds, so no reason to doubt his conditioning for this fight if he has been able to train healthy. What we do know, is that Bones won't be coming in 100%.
Managing the weight cut and recovering from the previous fight is going to make it very difficult for Bones to show up at his full potential, which is really a big minus when one of his biggest weapons is his freakish strength for LHW. Conditioning is not going to be 100% either, no way in hell he is going to be able to train specifically for 5 round fight in the short notice he had. There was a good atricle at MMAJunkie about weather it was a smart move for Bones to accept this fight on such short notice, but can't find it right now.
Bones's biggest strength's are obviously his strength and wrestling. He doesn't have a black belt in BJJ, and as far as I know he hasn't faced any BB's either. He hasn't really faced any strikers the same caliber as Shogun either. Shogun has did display some pretty flashy moves earlier in his carrier as well, so I don't think he is going to have much of an problem with Bones, even though Shogun doesn't have that much time to train for Bones either. Shogun has been training to face a wrestler all this time, Bones trained for Bader and fought Bader, but Shogun is totally different kind of a fighter.
Shoguns standup is arguably the best in 205, and definitely up there among the P4P best strikers in MMA today. Bones is going to have a reach advantage, but Shogun being the master at closing the reach I don't really see it being a problem. On the ground Bones is probably going to end up on top, but Shogun is very good of his back.
Beating guys like Randleman and Arona, I'm not going to shit myself even if Shogun gets taken down early in the fight. As I mentioned earlier, Shogun is the first BJJ BB Bones is facing so it'll definitely be a huge step up the competition on the mat as well.
Only way I see Bones beating a healthy Shogun is by getting him down and using those vicious fightending elbows. The chances that is happening I don't think are very big, but we'll find out next weekend. I'm having my money on Shogun for some (hopefully) easy money, lets see how it plays out.
What I say? Two posts, two different answers, both good arguments lol. I think this fight really is a coin flip. This isn't one of the UFC's fabricated hype fights where they spend months convincing fans that the underdog has a chance of winning a la Silva vs. Maia or GSP/Koscheck, when most objective fans know what will really happen. That said, this is also MMA where anything can happen.
It will be interesting to see if Shogun tries to keep his distance early in the fight, use leg kicks and make Jones chase him and wear him down over several rounds. Jones hangs that long, skinny lead leg out there and after what Shogun did to Machida's legs in their first fight, that has to be an inviting target. Not bashing Jones, but some of that unorthodox striking he uses won't be as effective against Shogun.
He has to be careful throwing some of that crazy stuff because Shogun is a guy who will counter viciously, unlike the Bader's of the world. I still think Jones' best chance is to pick his shots, get the clinch and score a takedown. His size is scary. He is tough to get out from underneath. Although as previously mentioned, Jones has never fought someone off his back as good as Shogun. Just a few thoughts.
The thing is that Jones will have a huge reach advantage in this fight, so keeping it on the outside isn't really going to play into Shogun's favor. As the shorter fighter, he has to be able to close the distance to be able to land effective strikes. And, on the inside I think the Jones will be able to take him down and keep him there.
I could see him using leg kicks like he did to Machida to try to slow Jones down, or maybe get him to reach for the kick and come over the top with a big right hand. I just don't really think that Jones is going to just stand there though and let him pound away with that round kick, and Jones isn't going to just run and play defensive like Machida did.
True. Shogun is of a striking caliber where he will punish Jones if he makes a mistake. Definitely the most skilled striker that Jones has faced thus far.
Shogun is good off his back, but Jones has some scary elbows from the top (even in guard), and his control and size are going to make it very difficult for Shogun to submit him. Heck, Forrest just basically held Shogun down and IMO Jones has shown much better wrestling/control/gnp skills than Forrest ever did.
If it gets into clinching range I see Shogun going for a ride and it not being a fun night for him from that point on.
Most guys train for 5 rounds regardless. Might as well train like a champ if you want to be champ. The short time between fights MAY be a point strategically, Jones may just not have the time to train his instincts for that kind of fighter (and prepare for a war). But as far as his conditioning he was probably at his peak for the Bader fight anyway, so really he just needs to maintain, not altogether peak again. He wasn't banged up from that fight at all. Thaiboxers fight every weekend. He'll be aight. Shogun on the other hand, too many factors... his knee, latent ringrust, changed opponent, etc. A few factors but this is Shogun we're talking about so I'm ok with giving him the benefit of the doubt.
As far as Jones' size... Shogun beat Overeem (of course before he went UBER-eem)
As far as speed and unorthodox technique... Shogun beat Machida (twice imo)
The only way I see Shogun being defeated is via wet blanket strategy or if he's slowed down considerably (which I don't see ex. machida). If he (jones) GnP's him to death that's his (jones') best chance. But that's nothing shogun hasn't had to deal with before. I'm just not sure how this fight goes. Jones HAS every single tool he needs I"m just unaware if he can put them together in the right combination (yet), sure as hell seems like it at times. And he WILL in the future. Unfortunately for Jones he's fighting the one guy that can dismantle all of his skill sets (individually at least). But even shogun hasn't fought someone that can bring all of those skillsets to the table simultaneously (size advantage, speed, solid striking AND wrestling).
Jones is like --> Machida + Randleman + Overeem
Which Shogun defeated individually. Perhaps the time he's spent away has matured his game and he can deal with all of those simultaneously or perhaps the time away has slowed him down and effected his conditioning.
I'm rather excited for the fight. I'd rather see Anderson Silva v Shogun but this one interests me from a strategic standpoint as well.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I know thaiboxers don't really cut much weight if they cut at all, so that isn't a problem for them. The article that I referred to in my previous post is this: http://mmajunkie.com/news/22392/ask-the-fight-doc-did-jon-jones-made-a-mistake-taking-ufc-128-title-fight.mma . MMA Junkie doc breaks it down pretty well. I'm not sure how heavy Bones walks around, but I think he did complain somewhere back in time that the weight cut is getting harder and harder as he is still young and putting on size. Wrestlers do cut weight and so do MMA fighters, and I'm pretty sure Bones has to cut some before this fight as well. How much is it along with all the bruises and stuff going to take out of him, I don't think we will find out before the next weekend.
He said he's at 214 in his Fight Night interview with Rogan. The actual cut probably won't affect him, but I agree, his strength will probably take a hit since his walking weight is 230.
Regardless, Xen's take on this fight is pretty much what I think. He doesn't bring anything Shogun hasn't seen before... individually.
This is what Shoguns second or third knee surgery? I am more worried about his knee/conditioning than anything else. He was flat because of his knee against much lighter competition.
Shogun. Bones isn't ready for this step.
i'm going with Jones....i think he's gonna be the guy to grab the LHW title and actually hold it for a while.
i think he's fought some good competition to prepare him....Vera has a style similar to Shogun (although i still can't figure out what happened to him). i think both Vera and Bonnar are BJJ black belts, too...
i think Shogun could make 185 if he wanted to, so obviously the size, strength and reach would go to Jones. his striking isn't at par with Shogun's, but as stated before, quite unorthodox. the wrestlign and clinch game also goes to Jones...
Jones might be overtrained, though, and will prolly not have the same power and strength he normally has.
it will be interesting to see what Shogun's game plan is...
btw, good article by the fight doc.
Thank you for posting this. That article makes me want to read his archives. I read some of the Fistic stuff on Sherdog, but this is cool.
I think if Shogun can get this fight to the 2nd, 3rd rounds he swings the fight in his favor. Bones has shown a propensity to slow down as fights go along. He is athletically gifted, but those tools start to decay and he becomes less dynamic as the fight goes on. Thrown in the back to back training camps etc. Shogun is a patient guy and usually does a good job at picking his spots, and brutally capitalizing when he does.
This for real. I like Bones and acknowledge that he has the potential to be a terminator but he's in way over his head. Who has he beaten? Ryan Bader and Stephen Bonner are not Shogun. I feel they're throwing Jones to the wolves way too fast.
I think Jones' marketability and appeal to younger fans might have played a role in this. He is exciting to watch. Rashad's injury probably left them scrambling for a matchup. Machida just lost, Rampage hasn't looked stellar lately, Forrest just fought, etc. I wonder if Joe Silva and Dana were waiting to see how the Jones fight played out before choosing him. And I don't mean if he lost, but how quickly and relatively easy he finished the fight. I don't think they wanted to keep Shogun on the shelf any longer than they had to. After Chuck's dominance, the LHW division has been a revolving door.
Rampage was originally offered the fight, but said he didn't have enough time to lose the weight. I guess he was 265.
265 lol. Well atleast he could safely sneak in under the HW limit. We saw Shogun starch a prime, in shape Rampage. Nothing would have changed. At least no soccer kicks to the face this time though.
Vera is not nearly as aggressive.
I never thought of it like that, but yeah, this is pretty similar to GSP/Hughes. Jones is going to be the best in the world one of these days, but I'm not sure he's there just yet.
Possibly, LHW has some prospects (Davis, Gustaffson etc...)
I like Phil Davis alot. He is not as flashy as Bones, but in terms of sheer athleticism at LHW, he is one of the few that can give him run for his money. If Phil can keep refining his striking, he can be dangerous. He has already shown a good aptitude for the submission game, something you don't see this early in the development of a former college wrestler.