I am not a pan of the idea of champion versus champion superfights the every MMA journalist is talking about.

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It seems that everyone in the MMA people wants to pretend the the arduous weight cuts which fighters placed themselves through space purely formalities, and that battle aircraft who job-related their hardest come fight together the greatest men in your weight classes would certainly happily go up and have no problem versus the champion in the course above.

While the superfights room never going come happen because lock are simply terrible company strategy, I have actually received one awful the majority of requests come look in ~ the hypothetical variables that a bout between UFC middleweight demigod Anderson Silva and light heavyweight phenom Jon Jones. 


As a preface, Anderson Silva is the best striker in MMA, and also I wholeheartedly think that.

Unfortunately, a great striker will certainly not pretend reach, size and also the availability and threat of a tie-up median nothing. If you space expecting an write-up where i hype up both sides and end v "this really is anyone"s fight," you"re going to be heartbroken.

Wrestling


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It must be no an enig that Jon Jones will have a definitive benefit in the rings department.

Not just is Jones known as the best wrestler in his division, but Silva"s most obvious Achilles" heel is his difficulty in protecting against takedowns from upstream takedown artists. While Silva had some success versus Chael Sonnen in avoiding takedowns—albeit with some grabbing the Sonnen"s shorts—Jones will additionally have a enormous size and strength advantage.

Much the Silva"s success versus wrestlers who enjoy gaining takedowns native the clinch (such as Yushin Okami) has actually come from his usage of a striking-based counter-clinch.

Silva will location his earlier to the fence and work to acquire his forearms in former of his opponent"s collar skeleton in stimulate to take it a twin collar tie top top the neck and work because that separation and an are to land brutal knee to the rib cage. 

Jones" work-related from the clinch is additionally excellent. He combine brilliant trips and also balance division with opportunities to rest away and also strike. A clip of the Jones game which we have actually seen many times is the placing an opponent"s ago on the fence, advertise under your chin with one or both hands to pen them in place and also create room before spinning because that an elbow strike. 


Though Anderson Silva had the method to counter the strength of natural 205-pounder Stephan Bonnar, the reality is that Bonnar is no a very great wrestler or striker. Every time Bonnar leaned ~ above Silva, he would certainly pop Bonnar"s head up v a shoulder bang or rotate him into the fence and also connect top top a difficult knee.

Jones, meanwhile, is technically elite in both regards, in addition to being a substantial 205-pound fighter. 

Much the Silva"s capability to stay off his earlier in his bouts since entering the UFC has come not from his actual counter wrestling, yet from his positioning and also footwork.

While Silva has actually improved significantly as a fighter because his job in PRIDE and also Shooto, fighting in a ring really functioned to his disadvantage. In the cage, there are no significant corners, and Silva can move about freely there is no hitting a wall surface unless that is physically propelled on come it.

Cutting turn off the cage is quiet a poorly practiced skill across MMA, yet Jones has shown to be at least decent at it. He controlled to move Lyoto Machida—almost identical to Silva in his usage of footwork to take away the possibility of takedowns—onto the fence through a well-placed slip and also clinch (gif of that here.)

Silva has actually been able to back-track because that 25 minutes before when he doesn"t desire to connect at near quarters—just look at his bout v Demian Maia.

But Maia"s understanding of the striking video game is limited entirely come knowing how to throw a decent roundhouse kick. If the slow-moving Yushin Okami can acquire Silva to the fence with nothing to offer as a threat however his predictable jab, the is safe to assume the Jones—who has actually a finish tool kit on the feet—can as well.


I think it is also safe to i think that once the bout access time the ground, the is Jones" fight to lose. His ground-and-pound is unequaled in MMA in ~ present, and Silva"s just real defense from guard against good ground-and-pounders is typically to lock in a body triangle through his legs (something i beg your pardon is unlikely to work against a man as big as Jones), tie increase the opponent"s hands and also stall out.

Jones is far removed from Chael Sonnen, who seems to strike for appearance top top the ground more than effectiveness. Jones"s couple of elbows top top the ground against Lyoto Machida disrupted his composure.

Weathering the storm against Jones top top the floor is no an option. Uneven Sonnen, Jones is not prone to tiring self out and also getting submitted.

Striking

To me, this is yes, really the be-all and also end-all the this hypothetical. So numerous of those who hope this enhance will take place are deluding themselves v the concept that while Jones has actually the edge on the ground, Silva should have the edge on the feet.

To everyone who has actually really thought around it in ~ length, that is evident that Silva walk not.

Silva is maybe the best boxer in MMA to date—his methods on the feet space brilliant together he paint, etc strikes and counters through ease—but that is a fighter who almost constantly fights with a reach benefit and really uses it.

Against grapplers, that is particularly important the Silva has actually a great reach advantage, since when the flat-out doesn"t desire to engage, he will go to lengthy jabs and also the sidekicks to the knee joint or low kicks come the calf—hard kicks to catch, however easy ones come throw.


Anderson"s whole game is also about making his opponent pertained to him. Anyone who has watched his bouts with Thales Leites or Patrick Cote knows that Silva hates to lead. Silva will get ahead top top the scorecards v long, flashy strikes in bespeak to pressure his opponent to come forward—at which suggest he can start his famous counterpunching.

Unfortunately, every one of the tactics which Anderson uses to store his range against grapplers and force adversaries to attack him v strikes space in Jones" arsenal, and also Jones uses them simply as well. Think about how easily Jones offered his strikes to the knee share to keep Vitor Belfort, Rampage Jackson and also Rashad Evans indigenous closing the street on him.

This would be a match where Silva would be the man required to near the distance—all the while staying clear of the clinch—something us have an extremely rarely checked out him do. Versus Forrest Griffin, Silva took a rare moment of offensive action as he pressured Griffin backward, climate hit him v a ideal hook as Griffin circled out (gif of the here.)

That was just sublime. But why would Jon Jones, who would proactively want to clinch, retreat indigenous Anderson"s jabs?

What Silva would must do to victory is precisely what Machida did for this reason well against Jones—the Kyotaro/Machida strategy. Back up and also run till the enemy over-commits, and also jump in v a power punch to accomplish them.

Now there"s nothing to protect against Silva law this. He"s the finest striker in MMA—I"m sure he might pick it increase in five minutes the sparring. However the difficulty is the in making use of this sort of strategy, one will certainly still finish up in clinch selection whenever stepping in.


In David vs. Goliath matches in boxing (such together David Haye vs. Nikolai Valuev or Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito) or kickboxing (such together Kyotaro vs. Semmy Schilt/Peter Aerts), the smaller sized fighter can ago up and also run until he desires to action in, climate clinch if he doesn"t pains his opponent, and also the referee will just break them.

In MMA, that clinch will median the bigger fighter can push come the fence and also start beating the smaller fighter up.

Conclusions

He that controls the selection controls the fight, and also both Silva and Jones have used their sidekicks, oblique kicks to the knee joint and also footwork come amply demonstrate that point in the past.

Unfortunately, with the huge height and also reach benefit that Jones would certainly boast versus Silva, the is simple to check out him out-pointing "The Spider" early with the type of tactics that Silva himself provides to obtain ahead on the score cards.

Silva would be compelled to near the distance, and in this he is no much more proven 보다 Rampage or Rashad. He absolutely has not displayed the same capability to close the distance versus opponents that Vitor Belfort has, and also Belfort could get naught going versus Jones.

Now v head movement and also footwork as great as Silva"s, it shouldn"t be difficult to execute the daunting task of discovering a totally new method of fighting. However once Silva close the door the distance, he is quiet in trouble.

In boxing, if you get inside one opponent"s reach, he has actually nothing except the clinch. Jones" elbows space still amongst the most savage strikes in MMA, and also he"s happy come jam castle in the challenge of his much shorter opponents in their very own punching range. 


Finally, if Jones did want to clinch ~ the street was closed, there is very little to imply Silva might stop the takedown or the ground-and-pound assault. The is notable that Silva"s just fights at irradiate heavyweight have actually been basically exhibitions versus opponents who are not gifted wrestlers, however "scrappy" males who to be there to engage with him.

Jones represents a taller, more heavier fighter that is an excellent enough in ~ the reach-abusing strategies which Silva loves that he can stop Silva closing the distance and also beat the up in ~ range.

In enhancement to being a difficult man to handle on the feet, however, Jones" best strength is in the area that Silva"s biggest weakness—he is an extremely strong and skilled wrestler who consistently stops opponents on the ground.

If Silva couldn"t avoid the takedown—and the evidence argues he couldn"t—he would certainly not be able to bide his time from the bottom. As elite together his ground video game is, he just doesn"t have the kind of guard i m sorry will enable him to send or move Jones whenever that wants.

Obviously, a hit is a fight, and if Silva did overcome these physical disadvantages and also learn an entirely new an approach of fighting after yet many years, he would be the greatest fighter of every time, no doubt. Unfortunately, suffer and great sense strongly side v Jones and also the idea that bigger, yet equally talented, is better.

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Ultimately, load classes exist for a reason, and also Jon Jones and Anderson Silva go through arduous weight cuts for the same reason. Currently, the MMA media is enjoying playing up the delusional idea the the UFC would sacrifice among its unbeatable champions to the various other for one night of an excellent pay-per-view sales.