Who Will Win? Jon Jones Vs. Rampage Jackson At UFC 135
This weekend Jon Jones, the UFC‘s youngest world champion, will defend his title for the first time against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 135 in Denver, Colorado. It’s a fight that will go a long way in defining both fighters. At 24-years-old, Jon “Bones” Jones has burst on the scene and destroyed everything put in front of him. His lone loss was a disqualification against the now-retired Matt Hamill after Jones nailed his opponent with an illegal elbow. Aside from that blemish, Jones has rolled to an impressive 6-1 record (13-1 overall) inside of the Octagon. His style is beyond well-rounded as his wrestling is top notch and his striking is unpredictable. Imagine if Anderson Silva could wrestle—that would likely be the closest thing to Jon Jones.
Across the cage will be the living legend simply known as Rampage. The war-tested veteran is 32-8 overall (7-1, UFC) and has much more experience in big fight situations than his opposition. Rampage may be nine years his senior, but his great equalizer is the power in huge right in his hands. He’s decimated many opponents with what he calls the “Bungaloos.” Ask Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva how those knuckle sandwiches taste.
Will the old dog come out and learn some new tricks or will the young buck prove he is here to stay?
If you look at what Jon Jones has to offer, you will likely see what I see taking place in this fight—total domination. “Bones” Jones is about as complete a fighter as one can be. Forget about his age—Jones is a wrecking machine. If you take a look at his tenure in the UFC, nobody has come even close to beating him. Ryan Bader, “Shogun” Rua and Brandon Vera were all annihilated by Jones in emphatic fashion. He makes it look easy when he’s in the cage. Also, when you consider his 84.5 inch reach (a whole 11.5 inches longer than Rampage) you have to admit this guy is a freak of nature. Rampage has one shot, and one shot only at beating Jones for his 205 lbs crown. We all know what that is—the brutal knockout.
There’s a possibility Rampage could bait Jones into a stand-up contest where he will have opportunities at cracking Jones with his massive punching power. But outside of that, the chance of beating Jones diminishes rapidly. Considering Rampage doesn’t look to score takedowns, Jones will definitely have the advantage if the fight hits the ground. Should the champ opt to take the fight to the mat, you might as well count Jackson out.
This being said, Rampage has stated publicly this has been one of his most grueling training camps ever. He has stated he is now a more complete fighter and is ready to bring the young man back down to earth. We haven’t found out if Jones has a chin to take a punch. Nobody has hit Jones cleanly on the chin as of yet. Rampage promises to be the first.
The reality is that Rampage is a huge underdog for good reason. The game of MMA has passed him by. This fight will prove that you have to be well versed in order to become a champion. Relying on the same tricks will likely get Rampage mauled and embarrassed.
But what if Jones gets put to sleep? It may not be likely but I can already hear Rampage howling and telling everyone that he told us so should that go down.
If you want the safe bet, put your money on Jones. Anything else would be uncivilized.