Here’s a question: who is Jon Jones and where did he come from? Even though I try to catch all the undercards on UFC events, I somehow missed the Jones / Gusmao fight at UFC 87. I heard everyone talking Jones up but figured a decision win over Gusmao wasn’t much to write home about. Boy was I wrong.
Jones spent the majority of the first two rounds throwing Stephan Bonnar around and hitting him with all sorts of wacky kicks and strikes. Body throws, spinning elbows, and even a wing chun knee kick that had me geeking out … I used to be a Fang Shen Do kid growing up. He kept the fight exciting until round three when it looks like he ran out of juice.
On Stephan Bonnar’s part, he battled the whole way through the fight and managed to stay out of real danger for the most part, with the exception of a crazy spinning elbow nailed him in the back of the head during the first round, sending him to the canvas for a moment. Past that, it just looked like everything he tried got countered by Jones and resulted in him eating a wacky kick, punch, or if he was particularly unlucky, a throw. The result? A unanimous decision win for Jon Jones.
There were only two problems with Jones’ performance: first, he used way too much energy in the first two rounds. I’m not gonna bag on his cardio … I just think he’s doing too much and there’s no way to jostle for position and throws like he does without eventually getting tired. The other problem: he’s got a lot of tricks in his bag but they weren’t enough to finish Bonnar off. Add in a decision to Gusmao, and I’m worried maybe this is another guy who doesn’t have a lot of ways to win past the scorecards. But we’ll see … he’s obviously got the physical talents and ability. A bit of polish, and he could really make some waves at 205.