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By: Jason Amadi, MMATorch Columnist
The big question heading into UFC 135 this past Saturday wasn't whether or not Jon Jones was an elite fighter; it was whether or not Jon Jones occupies the same space at 205 lbs. that Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva occupy in their respective divisions. Following Jones' domination and stoppage of Quinton Jackson, it's clear that he does. Now, the question moving forward is whether or not that's even a good thing.
The fact that fighters like Georges St. Pierre, Jose Aldo, Anderson Silva, and now Jon Jones win consistently isn't an issue; it's more or less how they win. The dominance of four of the seven reigning UFC champions is so overwhelming that it's hard to emotionally invest in their fights. And quite frankly, people seem to be getting bored.
At this point, we more or less know how the majority of title fights are going to go. Anderson Silva is probably going to circle around his opponent, drop his hands, and then style on them in a way that's equal parts brutal and degrading. Georges St-Pierre will probably utilize his jab and arsenal of perfectly executed takedowns to neutralize his opponent and shut them out on the scorecards. Jon Jones is probably going to keep distance with unorthodox strikes before brutalizing his opponent on the floor. Jose Aldo, if he can stay healthy, is probably going to violate his opponents much worse than the other three.
If you think about it, perhaps the outcries for super fights between champions are early signs of MMA fans losing hope. At this point people are calling for Aldo to move up to lightweight, St-Pierre to face Silva, Silva to face Jones, and Jones to try his hand at heavyweight. The fact that all of these things are being demanded at once disqualifies the possibility of coincidence. These aren't the "most intriguing match-ups" for these fighters, as some would have you believe. These fantasy match-ups are simply the result of people's imaginations scrambling for other great fighters who are close enough in weight to fight each other.
Granted, Anderson Silva vs. Georges St-Pierre has been a long time coming and would likely determine the greatest fighter we've seen to this point, but it isn't as if there aren't suitable contenders for them in their respective classes. Long reigning champions like Silva and St. Pierre knock challengers down, but new ones continue to pop up just as fast. Calls for young champions like Aldo and Jones to do anything but continue to defend their titles are absurd.
The fact that Jon Jones' dominance has MMA fans disenchanted with the sport's glamor division really speaks to how a truly dominant champion can alter the perception of a competitive weight class. It's always going to be fun watching champions like Jones take apart a challenger like a wild animal, but if their fights no longer even resemble fights, can that really replace the excitement of a competitive title bout?
One or all of the four champions losing isn't impossible. Eventually, everyone loses in mixed martial arts. However, at this point in time, any title challenger is going to be a massive underdog heading into a fight with four of the seven UFC champions. If fighters like Cain Velasquez, Dominick Cruz, and Frankie Edgar are really as good as their records thus far indicate, that number is probably going to continue to grow.
Evidently, the only downside to having the best fighters in the world consistently face off, is actually knowing who the best fighters in the world are. Now that we've identified the greatest fighters in the world at their weight, what's the next step?
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @JasonAmadi. Come at me, bro.
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