Jon Jones, Anderson Silva Set Trends That Shape the UFC

By Luke Schmaltz
Anderson Silva
Jayne Kamin-Oncea – USA TODAY Sports

For a while, the front kick knockout popularized by Anderson Silva was all the rage in the UFC. Nowadays, the promotion is seeing a new trend — it’s the age of elbow strikes, a la Jon Jones.

Since he edged the win out from underneath Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165, Jones’ style has been inadvertently sponsoring the striking strategy of a host of MMA fighters. His elbow strikes are dynamic action for fans and the spinning backward variety are especially thrilling for spectators who want to see carnage.

Kim Dong-Hyun knows this and successfully employed the Jon Jones Jackknife in a recent fight with John Hathaway that stopped the Brit in his tracks. An elbowing incidence with tragic results recently went down in EFC Africa when Keran Davies landed one on Booto Guylain. Complications from the resulting injury unfortunately ended the Guylain’s career — and his life. Despite the horror in this, the fact of the matter is that when fans decide on something they love, it dictates the rewards system designed to give fighters incentive to put on an exciting show. Right now, elbows, especially the kind that draw blood, can mean fistfuls of green for fighters.

If it was determined that fans love open-hand jaw slaps and handstands, then fighters would be giving them just that. If the fanbase somehow became sophisticated enough to appreciate fights dominated by ground game, then fighters would be advised to showcase more jiu jitsu and less standing delivery. For now, the fact of the matter is that when two opponents are going toe to toe in a bludgeoning slug fest, MMA fans are happiest.

Luke Schmaltz is a Combat Sports writer for Follow him on Twitter @lukeschmaltz, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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