Jon Jones: Judging His Legacy Post-UFC 159

Riley KontekFeatured ColumnistApril 28, 2013

Apr 27, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; Jon Jones  during a press conference after UFC 159 at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Jones has put his stamp down for being the greatest mixed martial artist of all time. At the young age of 25, Jones has defeated all comers and done so in the most impressive of fashions.

UFC 159 saw him defeat rival Chael Sonnen with ease. Even though many saw it as a foregone conclusion, the win was impressive in the sense that Jones beat Sonnen at his own game.

With that win, Jones moves to 18-1 in his career that started in 2008. His only loss came as a result of a disqualification against Matt Hamill, a fight Jones dominated and should have won via stoppage before the DQ came.

Not only is he likely the greatest light heavyweight of all time, but he may be the best fighter of all time. Just consider the opposition he has faced to get where he is today.

Before manhandling Chael Sonnen, he tapped out a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt in Vitor Belfort. Belfort was a dangerous opponent due to his hand speed and submission skills, but Jones disregarded all of that with his own skills.

He has beaten former champions in Belfort, Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Mauricio Rua and Rashad Evans. All of those other than Evans ended via finish, as Jones submitted Jackson, Belfort and Machida while knocking out Rua, who was considered to be one of the best light heavyweights ever before Jones came onto the scene.

Ryan Bader, Vladimir Matyushenko and Brandon Vera are all highly respected MMA veterans in their own right, and Jones dismantled all of them. He outwrestled and choked out Bader, quickly smashed Matyushenko with wrestling and elbows and broke Vera's face with vicious elbows.

All of these wins have put the legacy of Jones above the rest. Fedor Emelianenko and Anderson Silva are long to be considered the greatest MMA fighters ever, but in the time Jones has completed all of these accomplishments, he has to be considered better than both.

All hail the GOAT, Jon "Bones" Jones.