Jon “Bones” Jones showed why he deserved a title shot at only 23 years old. He proved why there was hype surrounding him. He showed critics what he was about. He did not only beat Shogun Rua, he dominated him. Jones showed his dominance throughout the entire fight. Shogun looked exhausted and battered. So if Jones can dominate Shogun, who can beat Jones?
The next fighter Jones will face is his former teammate, Rashad Evans. Evans was set for a title shot against Shogun until an injury allowed Jones to step into the spotlight. Rashad Evans has left the Greg Jackson camp. On March 20, 2011, Rashad wrote “I will never use Greg ever again. Greg brought this situation about. He brought Jones on board a while back against my wishes [and] here we [are] today.” It is interesting that Rashad is blaming Jackson for bringing a dominant fighter and current title holder to Rashad’s team. It seems like he does not like competition, and may be a bit jealous.
If Jon Jones can get a win over Rashad Evans, he could take over the light heavyweight division. After seeing what Jones was capable of doing against Shogun, it is hard to imagine anyone putting up a fight against this young powerhouse. When looking at the fight against Rashad, it is difficult to go against Jones. Rashad deserves respect. He has knockout power, he has faired well in the UFC to say the least. The 10″ reach advantage that Jones will have may prevent Rashad from scoring a knockout. On the ground, Jones will have the upper hand. The same goes for takedowns. It will be an interesting fight.
After Evans, the list of potential opponents gets a bit questionable:
Ryan Bader is a fighter with potential, but he has already been beaten by Jones.
Matt Hamill is also a great fighter, but has suffered a loss at the hands of Jon Jones.
When thinking about Forrest Griffin, its hard to forget the fight against Anderon Silva and its even harder to imagine that Jones will not be able to repeat the performance.
Lyoto Machida, former champion, is coming off two losses to face Randy Couture, but could a win over the aging Couture really earn Machida a title shot?
If Randy gets the win, he would have won four straight, but is a win over Mark Coleman, who is now 46 years old, really impressive enough? Another one of those fights would have been against Brandon Vera, who was temporarily booted from the UFC. Also included in the potential four fight win streak would be James Toney, enough said.
If Rampage Jackson can get a win over Matt Hamill at UFC 130, he may be in line for a shot. Again, it would be safe to say that Jones could hold his own against Rampage, but only time will tell.
For now, Jon Jones should take time to enjoy what has taken place. Being the youngest UFC champion ever should be a life-changing experience. Hopefully Jones can keep this good thing going. He needs to get the win over Rashad, and then Joe Silva can make the difficult decision for us. Does anyone else get the feeling that we may see Anderson Silva back at 205?