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Dana White: Jon Jones Has Had The Toughest Run Of Guys In The UFC


UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones has his supporters, and he has his detractors. He recently opened up the floodgates for criticism by saying that he was only at seventy percent for his fight against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165. Before that, he drew the ire of many fans by not accepting a UFC 151 bout with Chael Sonnen on short notice, resulting in the first-ever cancellation of a UFC event.

However, it’s hard to argue with what Jones has done in the cage. Jones’ 2011 was arguably the greatest year ever put together by a single mixed martial artist. He dispatched Ryan Bader before defeating former UFC Light Heavyweight champions Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, and Lyoto Machida in rapid succession.

It was a year not likely to be duplicated, and  “Bones” continues to rule over a talented division. He’s scheduled to face off with Glover Teixeira at UFC 169 next February, but according to Dana White, Jones is already the best 205-pound fighter the UFC has ever seen:

“Jones has had the toughest run of guys in the UFC. I mean, to get to the belt and to defend the belt, Jones has had to go through hell. Yeah, and he’s the most accomplished. Nevermind Tito Ortiz, let’s talk about Chuck Liddell, somebody who could actually really fight. Even Chuck Liddell, the things he accomplished and the things that he did, what Jon Jones has accomplished is greater than any light heavyweight, ever.”  – transcribed by MMA Mania

That’s high praise for the world’s No. 1-ranked pound-for-pound fighter, and deservedly so. “The Iceman” was a wrecking ball during his run as champion, but he ultimately fell off rapidly after Jackson tested his chin with a massive hook to end his reign. Jones had hardly been hit before Gustafsson truly put him to the test two weekends ago. It was close, but the champ survived, and stressed how much he learned throughout the classic bout. With talk of a superfight against Anderson Silva on the backburner for now, people will be clamoring for Jones to make his oft-talked about move up to Heavyweight should he beat Teixeira decisively.

What are your thoughts on White’s views? Is Jones already the best Light Heavyweight champion in UFC history, and will anyone ever be able to duplicate his history-making run?

  • Completely agree. Jones has fought the toughest guys and when they have been at their best. Always steps in against a worthy number one contender (possibly Sonnen being the exception).

    • But Sonnen is no joke either. Hes pretty boring but he took out Shogun in the first round who would be considered a worthy opponent Jones has beat.

    • He's also been significantly larger than most of his opponents. Gus showed how he fates with someone his size

    • Like him or hate him, but Sonnen is legit.

    • Dude, Jones fought these guys while NOT in their prime, except for maybe Lyoto. Rua was a shell of himself when he fought Jones & since he's been in the UFC, very inconsistent. Rampage…. 1 dimensional, a guy who lost to Badder & couldnt finish Hammill. Not to mention Jones is probably 25lbs+ heavier than all his opponents (except Gus) & has a 10-14 inch reach advantage (except vs. Gus). But as soon as Jones fights someone his won "size" & he no longer has the huge advantages, then Jones isn't nearly as dominant. Jones is hands down the best LHW EVER & probably will be for a very long time, but I still think GSP has had the toughest test as Champ. How many Champs can dominate guys like GSP has for 25 mins & do this vs. guys who had 4, 5, 6 & even 7 yrs undefeated streaks when they fought GSP! Not to mention, GSP is an "AVG" WW at best, most of his opponents walk around well over 200lbs, while he walks arounf 190lbs. Give GSP FW opponents at WW, which is like what Jones gets to fight @ LHW, and see how GSP does. Jones fought Sonnen & Belfort at LHW?!? Come on, really?!? Sonnen is for real, but not at LHW, or at least not vs a guy/Jones who should be fighting at HW!

      I still think GSP fighting Fitch in his prime & riding a 6 yr undefeated streak, BJ (in his prime) 1 loss in 3+ yrs, which was to GSP, Alves (in his prime) won 7 straight fights, 3+ yrs undefeated, before getting owned by GSP, Jake Shields (in his prime) won 15 straight, undefeated for 7 yrs, until GSP made him look avg. even with one eye, Condit (in his prime) 3+ yrs undefeated & was so dominant in the WEC & UFC, until he fought GSP & Nick Diaz (in his prime) lost once in 5+ yrs to Condit, he went 11-1 before he fought GSP.

      Now if you honestly think that the LHW guys who Jones beat who were way past their prime (Except Lyoto) & two MW's Sonnen & Belfort (past his prime, unless on TRT) are better than the guys GSP fought all, while in their prime with 3-7 yr undefeated streaks, you are seriously kidding yourself. I like Jon Jones, but he has so many advantages before his fights even begin, not to mention the WARS Rua, Rampage, Evans & Belfort were in before they fought Jones.

      I'm a Jones fan, but he doesn't fight in the top weight division like GSP does (LW & WW are by far the top divisions), GSP doesn't have the size, strength, height, weight or reach advantage Jones has. GPS is usually always the smaller of the two opponents, while Jones is ALWAYS WAY BIGGER (except vs. Gus).

  • If Bones makes the move to heavyweight and faces a guy like Jnr Dos Santos he might as well bring a pillow. Bones is not the best technical boxer out there but uses massive reach advantages to pick guys apart. His physicality, strength and athleticism will be matched at heavyweight.

    • you move anyone up a weight class and they may struggle. GSP, Aldo, Silva, etc… that sort of comparison is meaningless

      • No its not meaningless.. Bones has the size of a HW and fights at LHW… all thats being said here is that if he would fight in a weightclasse where his reach and height are "matched"… he would have PROBLEMS! Bones has a huge advantage at LHW. Gus showed us exactly how human Bones is when he fights someone his own size and Gus doesn't even have the Power most of the HW's have. He'd get knocked the f*ck out!! Bones will not be able to absorb the power of a HW's punch. If D.C. drops down, Bones is DONE and he's not even a big HW.

        • Good luck to Jones if he's big for his weight division….Silva is quick for his division, GSP has great stamina for his division, etc…if a fighter has attributes that give him an advantage in his weight class he shouldn't be criticised for them

        • Yeah I would agree that Jon Jones had the toughest run in the UFC, because he took out top names, quite easily with his skill set and massive advantage in reach, but I would like to see him against someone his own size, not someone who he has 10 inches reach against. Against Gus, he still had 7-8 inches reach advantage though.

      • Jones himself said he wanted to up a weight class… but there he would not even get top 10!!

  • I still think that Jones vs the Goat is the fight I want to see the most in all MMA possible match ups today…..what is yours?

  • Im sure he has since hes at such a physical disadvantage compared to others in his class.8))

  • Bones may have learned a lot this fight but a lot was learned of him also. His signature moves such as the spinning elbow and his unorthodox kicks are no longer mysterious. I think his reign is on the decline

  • word! he has! BUT he is still cocky as phuck!

  • Brian Vera who fought at heavyweight and actually beat Frank Mir a UFC former heavyweight champ nearly got beaten to death by Jones. How is it that so many people posting think Jones wins only due to height and reach. It's so stupid a thing to say, I mean it's a two edged sword because does that mean that every win Gus has had in the UFC is pointless and not valid because he too has a height and reach advantage against every fighter he has faced accept Jones? What about Tim Sylvia's height and reach advantage, he was one of the most weakest champions in the UFC's history. Couture beat the snot out of him. At he end of the day all fighting sports are based on weight and not size or reach. And history has proven that it's actually weight that gives a fighter the biggest advantage not height or reach. No one here knows anything about fighting if they think Jones is not a top 10 heavyweight fighter at least. Google is full of fighters with height and reach advantage with no skills to be the best or beat the best. Great example in MMA was Fidor and what could only be described as a giant Asian fighter that Fidor beat without breaking a sweat. Change the subject already. Jones is a supreme fighter who will not easily be beaten and most likely not in this division. Gus fought a great fight but he was actually fading badly by the end of round four and was lucky to get out of the fifth because he was hurt and just hoping to survive the round and the fight.

    • Brandon Vero never had any business being in the HW division! He beat Mir cause his striking is better and Mir S*CKED !!! Nobody is saying smaller guys cant beat the big guys… but it's hard for the smaller guys to beat the big guys when the big guys are good at fighting at range and keeping the fight at range, combined with the ability to take the fight to the ground when their opponent manages to get inside. Bones whole fighting style just plays into his advantage when he's up against smaller guys but all that advantage is taken away when he fights opponents his own size. When you're talking about a Randy Couture, you're talking about an exceptional talented, durable and intelligent fighter that always management to find a way to win. There are not a lot of fighters with all those qualities combined. Smaller guys CAN beat Jones, but it's gonna have to be an exceptional talented fighter that solves the puzzle of Bones range. Bones is a very talented fighter but in the higher weight class his main advantages will be neutralized and that makes a HUGE difference in a fight. That's like GSP stepping into a fight without the ability to wrestle, he'll still put up a great fight and he "could" win some, but he'll most likely get beat up!

      • I think Couture is a special fighter too, no doubt. But it was easier to beat up Silvia for the title than facing Liddell. And it's not heart and all that cr@p it's Tim was a very ordinary but large heavyweight. And Vera I know very little of him because I'm a cross over boxing fan who just loves this sport, but he ko'd Mir and someone who is overhyped by fans like Cormier couldn't. Lesner beat the snot out of Mir but Cormier couldn't. Vera is no beast but he did well against a good measuring stick in Mir. If actual size matters as much as most people hating on Jones think so why is Stefan Struve getting his @ss handed to him? Because he's an average fighter unlike Jones. I think if Jones was a boxer he would be getting a lot more love. I think his skills go unnoticed due to hate more than a true analysis of the fighter himself.

        • Vera is a very talented striker, so it's no surprise that he was able to knock Mir out. MMA math does not work! If you think Cormier is overhyped just cause he didn't knock Mir out, you're sadly mistaken and obviously did not watch any of his fights. The man is a BEAST! It was evident that he played safe in the Mir fight, while getting comfortable in the octagon and solidify his place in the organisation. That is the 1 and ONLY boring fight DC has delivered, you might wanna do your homework. The man DESTROYED Big Foot, who survived a vicious barrage from The Reem, one of the most powerful strikers to walk the face of the earth. Do some math on that! I'll wait….

          Numbers don't add up do they? Now moving on the Struve.. sure he has been knocked out a few times, but by whom??

          JDS, MARK HUNT, BROWNE and ROY NELSON each of them can knock ANYONE out! Other than that Struve is 13-4 in the UFC HW division. That is an impressive record for a UFC HW!

          As i said before.. Jones is a talented fighter, he's creative but his striking is NOT great…. his ability to keep fighters at range, his wrestling and his GNP are his strengths. His reach plays into that very well. Moving up would be a big mistake for Jones.

  • I might just be playing devil's advocate here, but maybe Gus was able to give Jones a challenge because he's a really skilled fighter. Not because of size.
    Just a thought.