There's been a lot of talk and speculation about a potential showdown between UFC Middleweight monster, long reigning champion and Pound-for-Pound chart topper Anderson "The Spider" Silva and 205lbs wrecking ball Champion and top 5 fighter in the world Jon "Bones" Jones. A fight which, unless something drastic happens, like Silva losing to Bonnar, a fallout between the two "BFFs", or a shit ton of money is dropped off, probably won't happen. But because fight fans can't stop talking about this fight so in this article I'm going to give my theory on who would win this match.
First, I wanna start off by saying that I'm a Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida, Rich Franklin, Dan Henderson fan; you won't see me cheering for either of these guys so don't think I'm being bias towards either of the two. I do respect both of Jones and Silva strictly as fighter and they both are incredibly talented fighters and for the most part deserve the praise they receive.
I'm just going to go out and say that if these two ever squared off I'd have to put my money on "The Spider" Anderson Silva. Jones has an edge in pretty much every tangible, physical advantage, taller, younger, possibly stronger, but Silva is the master of all the intangibles. The mystic of invincibility for never dropping a fight under the UFC banner and only really ever being in trouble in a fight once gets inside a fighter's head. You add to that the years of the UFC hype machine, MMA fans and journalist proclaiming Silva as the greatest fighter that has ever lived and you get the "Tyson Effect", where fighters have lost the fight before the ink is even dry on the contract. Jones is building up a fearful rep as well but not nearly to the extent that Silva has.
Mentally, Silva owns possibly a small advantage over Jones, who has said on numerous occasions that he has always been a fan of Anderson, looked up to him as a fighter and if you watch pre-championship Jones fights you can see that influence. So how will Jon Jones feel when he looks across the ring and not only sees his friend (Jones has admitted that his friendship with Evans made him reluctant to go in for the kill), his hero, is idol and what has been proclaimed that #1 pound-for-pound greatest fighter staring back at him? It would be like seeing your dad and Superman ready to square up against you.
Coming down to the actual fisticuffs, I see Double J having to be a lot more cautious in his approach. Silva's speed, reflexes and evasive ability is going to make him a lot more hesitant to go about his usual style. Jones has holes in his striking game that leave plenty of opportunities for his past fighter to take advantage of that Silva could exploit. He tends to be wild with his strikes and kind of linger in bad positions as well as the fact he move straight back after exchanges.
Add to that Silva won't be playing straight man to Jones unorthodox fighting style. How is Jones going to react when he's the one that has to be worried about getting kicked in the face? There is obviously the wrestling advantage that Jones enjoys but Silva's second fight with Chael showed that at the very least he has learned to neutralize a take down attempt. Jones doesn't have the power double that Sonnen does, his bread and butter is the clinch game. Will he be comfortable getting into the clinch while Anderson's deadly Muay Thai plum out on the loose? Rich Franklin's nose advises against it. Even if it does go to the ground how much does Jones want to play around in Silva's guard with his Nogeriura brother black belt? Chael Sonnen's hopes and dreams advise against it.
So if Anderson gets Jones to play cautious defense and the ground game being too risky to engage in as a long term strategy that leaves Bones left in a striking match with The Spider, which hasn't ended well for his past fifteen opponents.
What do you think Maniacs?