Ex-UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones has never really been out of the media since claiming the belt against Shogun Rua in 2012. His brazen attitude and antics outside the octagon have caused some trouble for the 28-year old in recent years, but even so his performances in combat speak for themselves. He’s undoubtedly the most dominant champion the division has seen, although he doesn’t have spotless record outside of fighting that say a poster boy like Georges St-Pierre does.
When you take a look closely at Jones’ behaviour, style, trolling, trash talking and dominance, he draws many similarities to one of the greatest boxers of the modern generation. So let’s take a punt at answering the question…
Is Jon Jones the Floyd Mayweather of MMA?
Boxing and mixed martial arts are two very closely connected, but entirely different sports. In terms of longevity, boxers will go on longer, but where they differ on the most part is when they start gaining recognition. For Floyd Mayweather, it was around the 35 fight mark, circa 2005 against Arturo Gatti, a fight which Mayweather won by retirement in round six. For a mixed martial artist though, 35 fights is a great career, and you’d be hard pressed to find any MMA fighter who is undefeated at the top level at this stage.
Needless to say, a ‘Money’ spent his early to mid-career, much like mixed martial artists do, fighting regional competition, but for the MMA fighter they have far less fights before reaching the elite level. If you look at the most recent half of each man’s fights, you’ll see many similarities, but perhaps the most staggering are the ratio of decision wins over current/former champions. The dominance with which each man has reigned over their respective competition is hard to deny, they simply can’t be touched, although each has experienced some squeaky wins too.
The style has a lot to do with it, as being untouchable doesn’t necessarily go hand-in-hand with entertainment. Both Jones and Mayweather have received criticism for having less than fan friendly styles. The truth is, as ling as they kept winning, the style is never really going to change. In his entire career, only Alexander Gustafsson has come close to defeating Jones, but with ‘Money’ you could argue that no one really came close. When you consider that Jones’ career, in size, could essentially only amount to half the boxing fights of Mayweather, the comparison in terms of dominance is blatantly obvious.