Why Rampage can beat Jon Jones.

Jon “Bones” Jones is a phenomenal athlete, an exciting fighter, and clearly UFC’s next big star. Dana White and the other UFC brass believe with good reason that he could have a Jordan-like effect on the sport. He’s charismatic outside the ring and on a whole other level from his foes inside it.

But he’s not a legend yet. He hasn’t cleaned out the light-heavyweight division. He’s looked unbeatable but he also hasn’t fought a lot of fights.  People are presumptuously crowning him the greatest light-heavyweight of all time. I believe when all is said and done, he’ll be in that conversation, but right now I think a lot of people are overlooking something, and that something is Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.

Looking at the top contenders in the light-heavyweight class and none of them look like much of a threat to Jones. He looks great in all aspects. His record wingspan, sharp knees and elbows, and unorthodox style make him almost unbeatable in the stand-up game. His takedown defense is superb. He has a wrestling background and has shown his jujitsu skills in submission victories. Like Anderson Silva, his reach makes it almost impossible for an opponent to try anything against him without opening themselves up for TKO.

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This is where Jackson comes in. Rampage KO’d Chuck Liddell, the greatest counter-puncher to ever fight in the UFC. He’s got heavy hands, a strong chin, and one of the best stand-up games in the division. Rampage is huge, with a physique more like true heavyweight, it was rumored that he once cut from 300 pounds for fight. While he won’t have the reach advantage, he is one of few fighters in the division who could come into a fight bigger and stronger then Jones. He also has a stronger wrestling background than the Brazilians at 205.

That is how Rampage can beat Jon Jones. He could rush forward; put Jones on his back, and ground and pound away. With his size and his chin he can charge in more recklessly than other fighters. Then, he is the one guy big enough to keep Jones down. He could also keep it standing and wait for the right moment for a KO punch. He is the only one in the weight class whose hands are heavy enough to catch Jones with just one shot.

I do think Jones will win on Saturday night. If someone at light-heavyweight can beat him though, that someone is Rampage Jackson. So before we crown Jones the Tyson or Ali of MMA let’s see him get past his toughest test yet – and maybe the toughest of his career.

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