It’s strange how it works out in MMA. The fights we most want to see are the ones that are the hardest, or often even impossible to make.
There was the Randy Couture vs. Fedor Emelianenko fight that fans were desperate to see that never came close to materializing. An Anderson Silva-Georges St-Pierre unification bout seemed easier to make, but never got any traction.
There are many other similar bouts that fans could only debate about and never got a chance to see.
This proposed Brock Lesnar-Jon Jones bout seems like another of those, at least on the surface. Jones, for my money the greatest mixed martial arts fighter in history, is under a suspension and awaiting a decision from the United States Anti-Doping Agency about when he’ll be able to return after a failed drug test last year at UFC 214.
Lesnar, the ex-heavyweight champion who failed a UFC 200 drug test, isn’t even under contract with the UFC. If Lesnar signs with UFC, he has to be in the USADA testing pool for 6 months before he can fight
And yet, White continues to discuss it as a possibility. It seems unlikely White, who has the workload of about three men, would waste time on a fight he knew had no chance of occurring.
White told TMZ that he expects Lesnar to sign with the UFC when his WWE contract expires at the end of the summer.
“There’s a lot of options,” White said to TMZ. “Jon Jones is very interested in Brock Lesnar and Brock is very interested in Jon Jones.”
Jones got this kicked off following his since-overturned win over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 when he called out Lesnar.
This might be the most intriguing bout that could be put together in MMA. It would be a massive debate, with Lesnar’s size and strength on one side against Jones’ athleticism and technique on the other.
Don’t pay attention to it and don’t get swayed by the massive weight advantage Lesnar owns: Jones will win and win in a walk. Bovada has already pegged him the heavy favorite (-350), and it wouldn’t be a shock if Jones won by first-round finish.
Jones has only been challenged once in his career, against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165. With all due respect to Gustafsson, who fought superbly that night, Jones barely trained for the fight.
The only issues Jones has had in his career have been of the self-inflicted variety, and those haven’t hurt his performance in the Octagon. It has kept him out for long stretches, but when he’s fought, regardless of what he was doing in camp, he’s performed brilliantly.
He famously mocked bitter rival Daniel Cormier after they fought for the first time, admitting he had been taking cocaine throughout training camp and still won going away.
Jones has no discernible weakness, unlike Lesnar, whose striking and ability to absorb strikes is very much a concern.
Lesnar’s best – perhaps only? – option to beat Jones would be to close the distance, get his hands on him and take him to the ground. Jones has great wrestling defense, though, and Lesnar would have to walk through a variety of strikes in order to get himself into position.
Given the speed with which Jones would fire those kicks/knees/punches/elbows, Lesnar would need a better ability to take shots than he’s shown so far in his MMA career.
There is the question of strength. Lesnar is a bear of a man who just looks strong. But Jones is an incredibly strong man himself, despite lacking the bulk of Lesnar. Simply search Jones’ social media feed for some of his feats of strength while training and you’ll be blown away by his power.
This is a fight which, if it’s ever made, would have the chance to become the first MMA bout ever to sell 2 million on pay-per-view. Normally, bouts that sell massive numbers like that are pick’em matches.
That would not be the case in this fight. Jones would almost have to try to lose. As dominant as he’s been fighting at light heavyweight, he’d figure to be even better as a small heavyweight, at around 225 or 230, when he wouldn’t have to deplete himself by cutting weight.
At that size, Jones wouldn’t lose any quickness, but he’d be at his strongest.
It would be a memorable promotion, with Lesnar zinging Jones repeatedly. Words, though, won’t matter when the bell rings.
It’s one of those fights an avid MMA fan goes to bed dreaming about. USADA could do away with those dreams in the snap of a finger if it gives Jones a lengthy suspension. And Lesnar still hasn’t signed a deal with the UFC.
If it happens, though, it will not only do significant business, but it will affirm what so many have believed for so long:
Jon Jones is the greatest mixed martial arts fighter who has ever lived.
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