With Anderson Silva beaten and on the shelf, and Georges St-Pierre retired and feuding with the UFC, the biggest names for a super fight are currently unavailable.
So who would be involved in the next generation of a super fight?
First, we must define what a super fight is. It’s not a fight between two super-talented fighters. It’s a fight between two super-talented fighters who are also super-big names. It’s a fight that draws mainstream attention, and the casual fan. A super fight pulls the fan who stopped watching the UFC a few years ago, but the big names pull he or she back. Most of all, the fight, however, needs to be competitive; it cannot be a spectacle, for spectacle’s sake.
So could Jones vs. Velasquez be the next super fight? Possibly, but Jones would have to string together a few more impressive victories before he deserves a title shot at Velasquez, the heavyweight champ.
Jones has talked lately about wanting a fight against Velasquez, who has looked unstoppable, with the exception of a fluke KO loss to Junior Dos Santos, a loss he has avenged twice now, in dominant fashion.
Jones has made a career out of dismantling his opponents, but the fact is that he has been bigger than most of them.
At 6′ 4,” Jones has dominated over smaller guys such as Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen. The first time Jones fought a bigger man, Alexander Gustafsson, he arguably lost, but eeked out close decision victory, the kind usually afforded champions in close fights. Jones did not look impressive in that fight, other than his ability to survive a beating, and the resiliency he showed to fight back to be close enough to earn a decision victory.
On paper, Jones is big enough to fight Velasquez, 6′ 1,” but he would probably have difficult handling Velasquez’s power. Velasquez has knocked out huge men, including Brock Lesnar and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. Velasquez hits a lot harder than a guy like Sonnen.
Jones is known for his devastating elbows, and certainly he could hurt Velasquez with those shots, but could he knock him out? Jones hurt Gustafsson, but was never able to knock him out. Velasquez, a college wrestling champion, would likely neutralize Jones’ elbows by taking him down. Although Jones had never been taken down in career, he was taken down by Gustafsson twice in his last fight, a shocker considering Gustafsson takedown abilities were not perceived as a strength.
Jones would be a super fight for Velasquez mostly in name only at this point in time. He certainly could potentially upset the champion, but the truth is that Jones has not looked good in his last three fights. He was nearly tapped out by a smaller Vitor Belfort, barely got of the first round against Sonnen because of a toe injury, and then received an early Christmas present in 2013 with a decision victory over Gustafsson.
A better fight for Jones would be against Daniel Cormier, or a rematch with Gustafsson. Whether Jones can dominate those guys will determine whether a fight against Velasquez would be worthy of a super fight. Right now, it would be a super fight in name only.