UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones may be less over with the fans than Alberto Del Rio, but Jones is not fat or out of shape despite a photo he tweeted of himself recently that shows him looking more like the pregnant man than the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Jones, 25, could drop the baby fat in his slouched pose after about three hard days in the gym. It might help if he stood up straight too. Jones is one of the most well-conditioned athletes in MMA, and rather than drawing attention to his temporary bulge, he should be talking about how he’s going to move up to the heavyweight division.
If the world really wants to find out if Jones is the best fighter in the world, we need to see him fight in the heavyweight division where he belongs. Pie-facing the relative half-pints in MMA’s light heavyweight division has been impressive, but it’s time for him to pick on someone his own size.
Think about this: Jones, at 6-foot-4, is taller than Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes by an inch. He’s two inches taller than Evander Holyfield and five inches taller than Mike Tyson. Those are all men who dominated the boxing’s heavyweight division. In MMA, Jones is three inches taller than UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and an inch taller than Brock Lesnar. He’s the same height as Junior Dos Santos and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva.
Can you imagine any of those guys fighting Chael Sonnen (Chael could probably hang with Bigfoot)?
Unless you are John Cena and you sell a lot of “The Champ Is Here” T-Shirts, there’s no such thing as unbeatable. Jones has yet to face true heavyweight power (a jacked up Vitor Belfort, who embarrassingly almost submitted him, doesn’t count). Guess what will happen when Jones gets hit with a heavyweight punch?
Jones is naturally bigger than everyone he has fought in the light heavyweight division. He’s not juiced up on human growth hormone or testosterone replacement therapy. He’s a naturally big, tall guy, which means he has the advantage over smaller guys.
Jones’ brother Chandler Jones is 6-foot-5, 260 pounds and plays football for the New England Patriots. His other brother Arthur Jones is 6-foot-3 and weighs 280 pounds. He plays for the Baltimore Ravens. Jones has big genes, and based on his brothers’ size, he is capable of carrying more muscle on that frame.
Jones will fight a big man at UFC 165 when he defends the title against Alexander Gustafsson, who is 6-foot-5. What will happen if Gustafsson is able to hit Jones in the mouth?
Jones can stay in the light heavyweight division and be the bully on the playground, or we can bump him up a grade and see how he does against guys his size, with punching power, who don’t have to tattoo Philippians 4:13 on their chest to know that a good big man will always beat a good little man.