Bones Jones faces unexpected challenger in battle for pound-for-pound supremacy

Pound for pound supremacy is a toss up between two great mixed martial artists. “Bones” Jones is considered by many to be the true number one only because the light heavyweight division is considered more dangerous due to the size and punching power of the fighters in it. Although 80 lbs and five weight divisions separate “Bones” Jones and “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, only mere statistical percentage points separate the talents of these two fighters.

Jonathan “Bones” Jones is 22-1 with 9 of those wins coming by way of knockout, 6 wins coming by submission and his only loss due to disqualification for an elbow strike that is currently illegal in the UFC. In the span of an eight year career, Jones has managed to become the youngest champion in UFC history, get stripped of his title, banned from the UFC, get reinstated and win the interim light heavyweight title. Jones was set to challenge current light heavyweight title holder Daniel Cormier at UFC 200 in July. That was put on hold when Jonny Bones was flagged by USADA and suspended for a year for violating their banned substance policy. They are slated for a much anticipated rematch July, 29 for the light heavyweight championship.

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Jon Jones’ eight title defenses makes a strong case for consideration as the most dynamic mixed martial arts athlete in the world and best pound for pound fighter in the game. Jones’ only pound for pound competition comes at the opposite end of the UFC weight division, flyweight champion Demetrius “Mighty Mouse” Johnson.

Mighty Mouse sports a 26-2-1 record with 10 wins by submission, 5 wins by knockout, only 2 losses and 1 draw. Demetrius Johnson surpassed Jones’ title defense wins with 10 and more impressively has been the only man to be flyweight champion in UFC history. Demetrius Johnson also holds the latest finish in UFC history with a submission win over Kyoji Horiguchi with one second left in the 5th round. Mighty Mouse is currently on a 12-fight win streak after finishing BJJ black belt Wilson Reis by armbar. Jones and Johnson sport similar fight statistics compiled by the UFC, which make comparing the two champions interesting given the huge physical disparity between them.

The UFC has recorded various statistics of each fighter over their last 17 fights. Jon Jones has thrown 1,836 strikes and landed 1,021 for a connect percentage of 56%. Demetrius Johnson has thrown 2147 strikes, 1146 of those strikes for a connect percentage of 53%. Jones has a 52% takedown success of his opponents while Johnson has taken down opponents at a 54% success rate. Both fighters share an almost identical striking defense (percentage of strikes avoided), Jones at 66% and Johnson at 68%. One area where Jon Jones excels over Demetrius Johnson is in take down defense. Jones has a 95% success rate in defending takedowns compared to Johnson’s 65% success rate.

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Demetrious Johnson has only one more title defense to go before he can surpass Anderson Silva’s record for most consecutive title defenses in UFC history. At this point in both fighters’ careers, Johnson is seemingly further along than Jones. Johnson doesn’t have the out of the cage blemishes on his resume that Jon Jones does. Bones has also forfeited two solid years of fighting in his prime. Demetrious Johnson is a model citizen who goes about his business in the most professional way possible. That could be one of the reasons he isn’t the huge PPV draw that he wishes he was. Jon Jones’ heated rivalry with Daniel Cormier and out of the octagon struggles make him a polarizing figure. Everyone likes a party-boy ass kicker who walks around with the confidence that he is the baddest man on the planet.

Jon Jones is no stranger to controversy. His nose for trouble is part of his enduring appeal. (Image source/Twitter)
Jon Jones is no stranger to controversy. His nose for trouble is part of his enduring appeal. (Image source/Twitter)

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These two gentlemen are part of a growing storyline that will begin to produce some clarity as 2017 moves along. Both fighters are neck and neck in the P4P conversation. If Jones can beat current light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier and regain the title it might push him in the lead. If Demetrious Johnson can defend his title again, that may edge him in front of Jones. These two men couldn’t be more opposite of each other while sharing such similar stats and fight metrics. Which makes this debate an interesting one for fight fans to pour over until one can rise above and put his stamp on the conversation.