Tales from the armchair, volume MCXXL…
I’m not a fan of either Evans nor Jones; I wasn’t rooting for either one. (This I do mean in a non-american, neutral way, ‘not a fan’ means simply: I have no strong feelings about those two)
Still a high calibre title fight between two great fighers, I was intrigued by the matchup, of course.
What always pains me, however, is to see an obvious failure of bringing an adequate gameplan to fruition.
And against Jones, you do NEED a decent one - he does, after all, pose a unique threat with his very unique, but deconstructable fighting approach.
Most recent opponents think they should out-counter him, and also within his own rythm.
There is enough octagon tape of him to throw that strategical notion out into the trashcan.
It’s getting laughable.
Jones is not unbeatable, other champions have shown less chinks in their armour.
He makes great use of the following things:
His reach, duh - but his boxing is not stellar. He can look good if he initiates or times a counter but if it gets dirty he always sticks to withdrawing.
His single direct attacks (JKD vernacular), his standing meat and bone, it settles his rythm and his confidence - opponents cannot let him establish that while waiting for counters.
His creativity - he throws some wild shit, some of which is garbage but as long as it throws people off it is brilliant. If you face Jones, hire a capoeira guy or pay the gym’s acrobat 20 bucks every time he connects with something weird. Opponents should immediately push forward after that stuff - when Jones throws weird shit he usually backs off and it’s more an ego and rythm booster.
Apart from the ellbows, of course…
The ellbows - learn to avoid or counter those. It was just stupid to ignore what Jones has already shown in past bouts when he was doing his HIA (again, Lee’s terms) -wristgrabbing followed by delivering the ellbow.
He has to set these things up, and his other go to ellbow move has already been deconstructed, so why didn’t Rashad do his homework?
Challengers should apply pressure the whole time, throwing combinations, finishing with low kicks occasionally and threatening with a takedown.
They can and should try to steal his confidence but not on his terms.
If Dan Henderson has a good gameplan and comes in shape (read, with maximum allowable testosterone in his veins;) he has a good chance.
But Jones’ coach will probably be smart as always and make his pupil establish takedowns early in the fight, making Hendo wary.
in Rashad’s defense, he did well considering styles and the fact he survived being rattled numerous times.
was Jones being a dick after the last bell, again? I’m starting to dislike him.