By Evan Stoumbelis:
There has been a lot of talk about Jon Jones and Anderson Silva. Who is the better fighter and who would win if the two men were to fight? One thing is for sure, if this fight does happen, which given the attention it has received it just might, it could very possibly be the biggest fight in the history of Mixed Martial Arts; but guessing a winner may not be so easy.
With an 84 inch reach Jon Jones may look awkward, but he knows how to utilize his lanky build to deliver devastating strikes. Some say Silva may technically be better, but you simply can’t account for the unpredictability of Jon Jones, who gets better and better every time he steps into the octagon and (almost) never ceases to amaze with a flashy barrage of strikes and a highly unorthodox style. Jones is one of those natural fighters that comes around once in a lifetime. When you see Jones fight for the first time (if you don’t know anything about him), it would be natural to assume he has a kickboxing base. However Jones is an accomplished amateur wrestler as well.
Not to mention the fact that a lot could depend on which fighter shows up and who is on their game. If UFC 145 Jones shows up, then he very well could be in trouble. If the Jones we saw beat Shogun shows up, and brings the flashy striking and dominant grappling we have seen in the past, then we will have a war. Jones has only lost once in his career and that was in 2009 against Matt Hamill. The loss came by disqualification due to illegal downward elbows. So one could say Jones has never been defeated.
Silva on the other hand, hasn’t lost since 2006 and is very very rarely off his game. Even when Anderson is having an off night, he’s still better than 98% of fighters out there. As we saw in the Sonnen fight, just because Anderson is being beat, doesn’t mean he is beat. Anderson brings to the octagon some of the most effective striking; he has never had less than 50% striking accuracy in a fight, and tops the “UFC significant striking accuracy” leader board with an outstanding 68.4% (Cain Velasquez is second with 61.3%). Silva has one of the greatest standup games in the UFC. Do I need to mention the effortless, matrix-like performance we saw when he faced Forrest Griffin? Anderson can fight on the ground too. He holds a Black belt in Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu, with 6 of his 31 wins coming by way of submission.
This is a hot topic nowadays, and lets be honest…who wouldn’t pay to see two of the best fighters collide for a once in a lifetime matchup?