While MMA fans continue to debate the awesomeness that is Jon Jones, there are really only a handful of people that can speak on the 23-year-old’s ridiculous skills. You can either ask any of his previous 11 victims, 12 if you include Matt Hamill before he nabbed a controversial disqualification win to hand Jones his only pro blemish, or one of his talented training partners like UFC lightweight king Frankie Edgar.
We decided to choose the latter.
“Absolutely, I think it’s been justified,” the champ told 5thRound.com of the unprecedented hype Jones has received. “He performs day-in and day-out. Not only is he winning fights, but he’s winning them devastatingly.”
Oh yeah, did we forget to mention Edgar – who has been in the trenches preparing for his UFC 118 rematch with BJ Penn on August 28th – hadn’t even seen Sunday night’s performance before boasting about his teammate. Although he fully intends to zip through his DVR later this evening, more so to support his boy than to seek vindication for his claims, Edgar knows the youngster’s time will come.
“I’m sure they want to see he’s mature enough to make that jump, which I think he is,” Edgar said of the UFC’s decision to slow play Jones’ journey down Greatness Road. “Age shouldn’t have anything to do with it. It should be based on performance. Like I said before, he’s stepping it up on the performance level and he’s running through dudes.
“I think he should be fighting anybody he really wants at this point.”
UFC president Dana White has promised Jones will face elite eight competition in his next outing. Although, I don’t believe there are that many 205-pounders alive that would be favored in a showdown with Jones. In fact, the Gambling Gods have just informed me they would likely only have Jones pegged as an underdog against light heavyweight champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, former title holder Lyoto Machida and middleweight king Anderson Silva.
Octagon brass know they have time on their side when it comes to Jones, so rushing him into a mega-fight at this stage of his career wouldn’t make sense. However, if he were 32-years-old instead of only two years above the legal drinking age, best believe there would be a greater sense of urgency from Mr. White and Co.
“Yeah, his time would be ticking a little bit more, but they know he’s got a lot of room to grow,” Edgar added. “It’s just going to be interesting to see where he’s going to be three-four years from now. It’s gonna be crazy.”
Some might say he’s pretty insane right now, Frankie.