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Champ is Back

Jon Jones made one of the best heavyweights in the world look like a kid at his first wrestling class last Saturday. He did so without an overabundance of controversy. The most compelling memes about Jon Jones were that he was chubby. If the best the internet can come up with is a heavyweight is chubby, it’s a slow news week.

Winning winners

In the lead up to the fight, the media gently ribbed Jones for a lot of things. There was that time he was sensitive in a Hollister. Also, there was the time he took steroids. Mostly, it was a warm reception back into the octagon. The crowd boo-ed Gane and cheered Jones. When Jon sunk in a guillotine, the T-Mobile Arena went nuts. Jones made it look easy, and there’s nothing fight fans love more than winners winning.

Image – Marca

It was surprising how fast Jones went to work. He ducked under a cross, got a body lock, dragged Gane to the floor, and after that it was apparent how big the skill discrepancy turned out to be. Jones set up one guillotine, found it was too loose, then sunk in a nasty second guillotine. This was the kind of guillotine that traps the front of the throat against the forearm and squeezes. It’s not quite a blood choke, although you can put someone completely out with this kind of guillotine. It’s mostly a pain and breath choke. It really really hurts really bad. Gane probably thought he was going to make his situation better by getting to the cage and trying to get up, instead Jon Jones captured his neck and the belt.

Gane’s only significant strike landed was a groin strike in the opening seconds of the fight. That’s how dominant Jones was.

Another Fighter, Another Come Back

When Jones was taking his victory lap, I was reminded of Mike Tyson vs Peter McNeely. Granted, Tyson was in prison for his crimes and I don’t want to compare or contrast Tyson’s or Jones’s digressions, but there was the same “return of the king” feeling in the air. Both fighters recaptured their original magic with a quick victory over a mismatched opponent. They set fight media on fire by having uncomplicated comebacks. They prove the old adage, “everybody loves you when you’re winning.”
While Jon Jones’s story is still being written, Tyson’s return marked the continuation of darker and darker chapters. I don’t want to seem overly cynical, either. Jones is a smart enough human to achieve wonderful things. He went in there and dispatched his opponent, doing exactly what he needed to do in the shortest amount of time. There was no playing with his food. He didn’t waste rounds getting reads or trying to beat Gane at his own game. Jones did his victory dance. He gave great interviews before and after. He hugged his family and enjoyed his welcome return. He’s the last of a generation of champions that have all since gone on to retire. It was a rare, joyful main event. 

Image – Yahoo Sports

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