Jon Jones is more than just the UFC light heavyweight champion. He's the best fighter in the entire sport of mixed martial arts. At 24, he's run roughshod over a division stocked full of the sport's best. This year alone he's absolutely wrecked some of the best the light heavyweight division has to offer.
Ryan Bader was considered a top prospect. Jones clowned him. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua was the world champion. Jones beat him so badly that it became difficult to watch.
Former champions Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and now Lyoto Machida both followed. Both were choked out, Machida into unconsciousness. That kind of thing speaks volumes. Machida had never lost a bout by submission in his eight year career. Jones choked him until he dropped face first like a sack of potatoes. That's not just a win. It's how legends are built.
Of course, Anderson Silva fans might quibble with the assertion that Jones is the best fighter in the world. Georges St. Pierre's partisans are Canadians - so they'd disagree politely, but disagree nonetheless.
But with respect, they are wrong. Horribly wrong. Jones looks completely unstoppable against the top fighters in the world. He's never looked like Silva did underneath Chael Sonnen before a miracle win rescued his title. There is no way a fighter like Jake Shields intimidates Jones the way the former Strikeforce star scared St. Pierre.
Jones is a finisher. His first two bouts in the Octagon went to the judges - he was just 21 years old. Since then, a maturing Jones has finished eight straight opponents. One, Matt Hamill, had his night ended by an illegal blow. The rest were simply victims. There will be many more.
When Jones gets an opponent in the clinch, the world becomes a very dark and disturbing place. Standing against the cage, his guillotine choke is the most feared in the division. If he, instead, takes some helpless sap to the mat, elbows are following. And not just any elbows - Kenny Florian style razor sharp bows. The kind that open up cuts that make you turn away from the screen.
Most scary? Jones is still improving, figuring out what kind of fighter he wants to be. Jones and his coaches insisted on standing at range with Machida,where the former champion is at his best. When Jones finally decided to do what he does best, Machida suddenly found himself donating blood to the mat and falling to the ground like a gun shot victim after Jones turned his lights off.
Despite his dominance, there were still boos raining down on the young champion. The crowd hasn't yet embraced Jones. That will come. His nice guy persona is turning off fans who like their fighters to have a little edge. Look no further than the cage to find the real Jones. There's no way the world can deny his talent, blood lust, or killer instinct for long.