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UnderGround Forums >> Anderson Silva - Jon Jones: A Brutally Honest Look


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5/3/13 10:02 PM
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Jack Slack
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Hey guys,

For quite a long time I have been sent requests to write a piece about the possibility of this match up and after my editor asked me to I have finally written it. I don't intend to write many more about hypothetical match ups, at least not ones that are unlikely to ever take place, but I hope it's at least enjoyable!

I hope you don't mind clicking the link and as always all feedback is much welcomed! 

Cheers,

Jack

I am not a fan of the idea of the champion versus champion super fights which it seems every MMA journalist is talking about. It seems that everyone in the MMA world wants to pretend that the arduous weight cuts which fighters put themselves through are purely formalities and that fighters who work their hardest to fight as the biggest men in their weight classes would happily go up and have no problem against the champion in the class above.

While the super fights are never going to happen because they are simply terrible business strategy, I have received an awful lot of requests to look at the hypothetical variables of a bout between UFC middleweight demi god Anderson Silva, and young Light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones.

As a preface, Anderson Silva is the greatest striker in MMA and I wholeheartedly believe that. Unfortunately a good striker will not pretend reach, size and the availability and risk of a tie up mean nothing - if you are expecting an article where I hype up both sides and end with "this really is anyone's fight" - you are going to be heartbroken.

Wrestling

It should be absolutely no secret that Jon Jones will have a definitive advantage in the wrestling department. Not only is Jones known as the best wrestler in his division, but Silva's most obvious achilles heel is his difficulty in stopping takedowns from elite takedown artists. While Silva had some success against Chael Sonnen in stopping takedowns - albeit with some grabbing of Sonnen's shorts - Jones will also have a massive size and strength advantage.

Much of Silva's success against wrestlers who enjoy getting takedowns from the clinch (such as Yushin Okami) has come from his use of a striking based counter clinch. Silva will place his back to the fence and work to get his forearms in front of his opponent's collar bones in order to take a double collar tie on the neck and work for separation and the space to land his brutal knees to the rib cage.

Jones' work from the clinch is also excellent as he combines his brilliant trips and balance breaks with opportunities to break away and strike. A staple of the Jones game which we have seen numerous times is his placing an opponent's back on the fence, pushing under their chin with one or both hands to pin them in place and create space, and then spinning for an elbow strike.

Now where Anderson Silva had the technique to counter the muscle of natural 205 pounder Stephan Bonnar's strength, Bonnar is not a very good wrestler or striker. Every time Bonnar leaned on Silva, Silva would pop Bonnar's head up with a shoulder bump, or turn Bonnar into the fence and connec a hard knee. Jones meanwhile is technically elite in both regards in addition to being a huge 205 pound fighter.

Bonnar leans on Silva.

Silva steps out to his right and throws Bonnar face first into the fence.

Much of Silva's ability to stay off of his back in his bouts since entering the UFC has come not from his actual counter wrestling, but from his positioning and footwork. While SIlva has improved exponentially as a fighter since his days in PRIDE and Shooto, fighting in a ring really worked to his disadvantage. In the cage there are no significant corners and Silva can move around freely without hitting a wall unless he is physically pushed on to it.

Cutting off the cage is still a fairly poorly practised skill all around in MMA but Jones has shown to be at least decent at it. He managed to move Lyoto Machida - almost identical to Silva in his use of footwork to take away the possiblity of takedowns - onto the fence with a well placed slip and clinch.

Now Silva has been able to back track for 25 minutes before when he doesn't want to engage at close quarters - just look at his bout with Demian Maia - but Maia's understanding of the striking game is limited entirely to knowing how to throw a decent roundhouse kick. If the slow moving Yushin Okami can get Anderson Silva to the fence with nothing to serve as a threat but his predictable jab, it is safe to assume that Jon Jones - who has a complete tool kit on the feet - can as well.

I think it is safe to assume that once the bout hits the ground it is Jones' fight to lose - as his ground and pound is unmatched in MMA at present, and Silva's only real defence from guard against good ground and pounders is usually to lock in a body triangle with his legs (something which is unlikely to work against a man as large as Jones), tie up the opponent's hands and stall out.

Jon Jones is far removed from Chael Sonnen - who seems to strike for appearance on the ground more than effectiveness. Jones's few elbows on the ground against Lyoto Machida completely destroyed the composure of the great karateka in moments - whethering the storm against Jones on the ground is not an option. Unlike Chael Sonnen, Jones is not prone to tiring himself out and getting submitted.

 

5/3/13 10:02 PM
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Jack Slack
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Striking

To me this is really the be all and end all of this hypothetical because so many of those who actually hope this match will take place are deluding themselves that while Jones has the edge on the ground, Silva should have the edge on the feet. To anyone who has really thought about it at length it is obvious that Silva does not.

Silva is arguably the best boxer in MMA to date - his tactics on the feet are brilliant as he draws strikes and counters with ease - but he is a fighter who almost alwaysfights with a reach advantage and really uses it.

Against grapplers it is particularly important to Silva that he have a good reach advantage or at least even reach because when he flat out doesn't want to engage he will go to long jabs and the side kicks to the knee joint and low kicks to the calf - hard kicks to catch but easy ones to throw.


Anderson's entire game is also about making his opponent come to him. Anyone who has watched his bouts with Thales Leites or Patrick Cote will know that Silvahates to lead. Silva will get ahead on the scorecards with long, flashy strikes such as his side kicks in order to force his opponent to come forward - at which point he can begin his famous counter punching.

Unfortunately all of the tactics which Anderson uses to keep his range against grapplers and to force opponents to attack him with strikes are in Jones' arsenal and Jones uses them just as well as Silva. Think about how easily Jones used his strikes to the knee joint to keep Vitor Belfort, Quinton Jackson and Rashad Evans from closing the distance on him.

Concludes at: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1628374-a-brutally-honest-look-at-jon-jones-vs-anderson-silva

5/3/13 10:02 PM
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Jack Slack
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Edited: 05/03/13 10:15 PM
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Double

5/3/13 10:09 PM
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ShatsBassoon
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I agree, Jon Jones over Anderson all day long.

 

Good post, thanks OP

5/3/13 10:15 PM
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yellow wrkahlc
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There you have it, folks.

*awaits the "we won't know who wins until they actually fight" replies* Phone Post 3.0
5/3/13 10:15 PM
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Anderson P. Sonnen
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Sub Phone Post
5/3/13 10:23 PM
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IAmNotImpressedbyYourStocktonSlap
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Sub Phone Post 3.0
5/3/13 10:27 PM
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Stea1th
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hate to say it, but I'd say jon jones > silva. 

 

 

5/3/13 10:29 PM
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ProteinBake
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Really enjoyed it. Hard to disagree with any of that.

Still would root for silva though.
5/3/13 10:31 PM
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HectorOfTroy
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Subinski
5/3/13 10:32 PM
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Sakuraba belt
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I think Jones would probably win as well, not by being a better martial artist though but by being a better athlete.
5/3/13 10:34 PM
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Jons Forsberg
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Great breakdown as always Jack. Not only is Anderson at a massive size and strength disadvantage but Jones is very bad match up stylistically as well.
5/3/13 10:34 PM
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mijo
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Striking-Anderson Silva all day long

Wrestling-Jon Jones all day long

Winner-Fans all day long
5/3/13 10:35 PM
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TheFlyingGentlemen
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Phone Post
5/3/13 10:41 PM
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OmgItsTheWams
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mijo - Striking-Anderson Silva all day long

Wrestling-Jon Jones all day long

Winner-Fans all day long
I can't stand Jones but his length alone makes striking even imo he isn't as skilled but is longer than silva which is one of silva's best attributes Phone Post
5/3/13 10:43 PM
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inf0
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Anderson by standing KO. Something we haven't seen in Jones's arsenal.

 

5/3/13 11:00 PM
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KZTT_W85
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For later Phone Post
5/3/13 11:06 PM
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DoomFarmer
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Hopefully this turns out to be one of those times where JS gets it wrong.
5/3/13 11:20 PM
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Kid Charlemagne
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Interesting write up Phone Post 3.0
5/3/13 11:30 PM
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Logan Stantons finger
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Ugh, I agree with all points in this write up, good shit.

As much as I hate to say it, Silva gets destroyed by Jones. Phone Post 3.0
5/3/13 11:32 PM
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GSPushedInMyStinkEye
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You weren't "brutally honest" before this? Phone Post 3.0
5/3/13 11:34 PM
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Authority Figure
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Paraphrase: Jon Jones is equally talented as Silva, but bigger. So he will win.

 

I don't agree, but I enjoyed the article.

5/3/13 11:38 PM
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OnlyTheStrongSurvive
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Jones would have to finish him in the first couple rounds imo. You give Silva time and he'll find an opening. Jones really just may be too physically strong though Phone Post
5/3/13 11:38 PM
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manzuri
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Briefly skimmed, and I will read the rest later but the point I saw about Jones having the advantage standing because of reach seems odd to me. Silva is known for matrixing people's strikes. Not staying away from them but dodging them like fucking Neo. How dose that play as an advantage to jones? Phone Post
5/3/13 11:46 PM
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Seedless619
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Do people still think this is gunna happen?Dfw isnt gunna feed his champions to eachother,all talk and hype which is typical.Silvas too small for Jones,Silva can and has made 170,given time Jones has potential to dominate in HW..and Silva..I'd enjoy seeing him fighting new competition at ww. Phone Post 3.0
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