Jon Jones a.k.a Jon ‘Bones’ Jones. No matter who you are or what you do, you probably know that name. Whether you know that name for good reasons or bad reasons, that’s on you. But, there’s a good chance you’ve heard that name tied to the word “GOAT” otherwise known as the “Greatest Of All Time” as far as the mixed martial arts scene goes. Another term you may have heard tied to that name is number one pound-for-pound. Today I simply ask, is he?
Jon ‘Bones’ Jones The GOAT?
In the MMA world, specifically the UFC, the pound-for-pound debate is a hot topic at the moment. Two weeks ago, current Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski was at the top of that list. Fifteen of the best fighters in the UFC and Alex was number one.
Jon Jones then went into a fight against number two, current Lightweight Champion, Islam Makhachev. Volkanovski was moving up weight, to chase after a second championship and after a tough five round fight, Alex Volkanovski lost via decision. Due to this, there were many debates on if Alex may have even possibly won the fight and was screwed over.
The week following the event, the UFC put out the pound-for-pound rankings and Alex was still number one. Did Islam not beat him convincingly enough to take his number one spot? Potentially. But now, someone else may and that is Jon Jones.
The King Is Back
Jon Jones has a 26-1 record, with the one loss coming by way of disqualification after illegal elbows in a fight that he was winning back in 2009. Because of the way he lost the fight, many fans and even sometimes the UFC themselves, still refer to Jones as an undefeated fighter.
For years while he was active, Jon Jones topped the pound-for-pound rankings list and it seemed like no one could knock the king off of his throne. Well, no one except his self, of course. Due to legal troubles, drug problems and a slew of other issues that Jon Jones faced, his fights became few and far between. He became very inconsistent and his ranking steadily declined.
Bones Jones hasn’t fought since February 8, 2020 and is currently ranked number ten in the world. Not to mention, his last fight, which was against Dominik Reyes, was very controversial as many fans thought Reyes beat Jones. This all plays a massive roll into where he ends up in the pound-for-pound talks, but he now has a chance to reign supreme once again.
The former Light Heavyweight Champion of the world is just that, a Light Heavyweight. Jones has dominated that division the entire time he’s been in the UFC and has cleaned it out to the point that he feels the need to move up. And so he will.
In order to be the best, you have to beat the best, and in many eyes that’s the biggest, baddest men in the Heavyweight division. So, at UFC 285 on March 4, 2023, Jon Jones will step into the octagon to fight the 11-1 Ciryl Gane for the vacant Heavyweight Title. Could this be his proving point to get back to the top? With the pound-for-pound rankings debate in shambles, there’s a big possibility that Jones could shut down all the talks, win the Heavyweight title and become ranked number one yet again. I mean, even veterans of the sport like Michael Bisping are already calling for Jones to be placed back at number one strictly for returning. Is that crazy? Maybe, but it’s not unlikely.
Is Jon Jones The Best?
Everyone has their opinions on the matter, and I’ll tell you mine. Is Jon Jones the greatest of all time? Yes. Should he be number one pound-for-pound? Maybe. Here’s why. Alexander Volkanovski is a man who was undefeated before his loss against Islam. Not only undefeated, but dominant.
Nearly everyone in the Featherweight division got smoked by Volkanovski and when they said Max Holloway beat him, Volkanovski ran back the rematch and proved that he didn’t and tore Max apart. Despite his very hard fought and controversial first loss, Volkanovski still deserves to be number one and if Jones wants it, he has to do it in epic fashion.
Jon Jones is coming off of a fight that many think he lost, and he, to this point, hasn’t ran that fight back to prove us otherwise. I truly believe that if Jones wants to be back at number one, he has to put on a spectacular performance, dominate and finish Ciryl Gane in order to prove he still is the best in the world. Even if he won, another controversial split decision win shouldn’t give Jones the number one spot while a guy like Alexander Volkanovski continues to prove he is the best with consistent fights and challenges.
There’s a difference between being the greatest ever, proving your skill and how fantastic you were in your prime, to being the current best in the world. Should Jon “Bones” Jones be number one again if he wins March 4th? Only if he does it in vintage Bones fashion. Though, come March 4th at UFC 285, Ciryl Gane could ruin the party. Time will tell.