Cleat Geeks

UFC 197; Another Second Chance for Bones

In sports, we have come accustomed to watching athletes receive more than a few doses of special treatment. Jon Jones was once placed on the top of the MMA world. He was considered to be the pound-for-pound best fighter on the planet. Then why hasn’t he competed for more than a year?

jonjones2Failed drug tests (cocaine), felony hit-and-run, and a drag racing citation would most certainly get the common man/woman in very serious trouble with his/her employer. Fortunately for “Bones”, he has been given a second, third, and forth chance to redeem himself. It is very hard for a person to recognize when they are at the peak of their career, or their life for that matter. I hope for the sake of Jones, and all of his fans, that he has finally seen the error of his ways.

Jones comes from a very athletically inclined family. His brother Alfred won the Super Bowl as a member of the Baltimore Ravens, and his brother Chandler recently won his Super Bowl ring as a member of the New England Patriots. In football, those accomplishments can never be taken from you. They are immortalized in film and memory. When it comes to the UFC, the championship belt can be stripped from you the second they determine that you are unfit to wear it.

jon-jonesJones will be competing for an interim title in UFC 197. The belt holder (Daniel Cormier), who strangely enough was Jon Jones’ last victory inside the cage, had to pull out due to injury. A very similar fighter to Jones (Ovince St. Preux) gladly took the fight on short notice. I have been wanting to see these fighters compete for a while now. They both are very imposing physically, but have vastly different striking styles. St. Preux relies more on heavy hands, and counter striking, where Jones likes to overwhelm his opponents with a high volume of complex strikes. Jon likes to throw an oblique kick as well, which many wish would be outlawed from the sport due to its high probability of causing damage to an opponents knee. This technique is simply designed to hyper-extend an opponents knee by snapping it in the wrong direction with direct contact to the knee from a standing position. It is not commonly used, nor does it appear to be very substantial, but Jones has been able to use it effectively, and will look to do so against St. Preux.ufc-197-fight-card

We as MMA fans deserve to see the greatest display of athleticism each and every card. When Jones is featured, I believe that is a given. I hope that Jon can realize what a great opportunity this is, and continue to work on righting his life for the sake of himself, his family, and fans. It would be a shame for this sport to have one of its greatest practitioners to be removed from the history books solely because he struggled to maintain his everyday life.  He has been referred to as the Johnny Manziel of MMA, but I see more of a future for Jon. If that comparison were to be accurate, the talent level of Manziel would have to be closer to Joe Montana’s. This is the greatest fighter of our age, who is just as guilty as many others of being too young, and too rich. MMA is supposed to be one of the most disciplined practices in competitive sports, but it came so easy to Jones that he doesn’t respect it the way most other competitors do. The distant future is uncertain, but the near future holds the possibility of one of the best fights in recent memory when OSP takes on Jon “Bones” Jones.

ufc197comaincardThe Co-Main event doesn’t hold as many story lines, but has just as much excitement surrounding it as the Main event. Undefeated, Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo will finally get his shot at UFC gold when he takes on another man vying for that pound-for-pound greatest title, champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson.  Although I respect Cejudo as an athlete, I do not believe that he has really been tested inside the cage to this point. If I were a betting man, I would put the house on “Mighty Mouse”. His only two losses have come by decision, and one of those is to a current UFC title holder in Dominick Cruz. Both Joseph Benevidez and John Dodson are some of the greatest fighters in this division. They have both lost twice to Johnson, which makes for a tough sell when it comes to title fights. Cejudo offers the only possible argument that someone in the flyweight division can defeat Johnson inside the UFC. This is a must-purchase pay-per-view all the way down to the undercard, that I am very excited to watch. I don’t see any way that UFC197 disappoints even the most casual fan.


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