I noticed earlier today that a lot of the traffic that comes to my website via Google, does so via the term ‘Jon Jones’ – so I thought I’d better put an article together…
Not only did Gus circle when just out of range, he tended to jab and circle his towards his own lead leg
So rather than stepping into a Jones counter (usually a straight punch or kick), he slid out of the way of it.
OSP did a good job of circling too, he’d circle to the left and then explode forwards with a switch-step right cross. Something DC also does.
Counter the Oblique Kick
Pretty obvious, but fundamental. Something nobody has really worked out yet.
From what I’ve read, you can point the knee and counter with a roundkick to the leg that’s just tried to attack your knee.
Or you can slide out of the way and counter. That leg is travelling a long way to attack your knee, so a counter is on the cards if you can avoid an impact.
You can actually step into, and through the kick, if you time it correctly.
Low-kick at the end of Punch Combos
Jones is annoyingly, just inches out of range for many fighters. They throw a combo and come away fruitless. It would be interesting to see somebody apply the ‘Dutch kickboxing’ methodology of ending punch combinations with low kicks to the legs.
I don’t recall anyone trying to batter Jones’ legs at all with low round-kicks. This style could test his leg-conditioning, and try and bridge the range at the same time.
Mix up your Rhythm
Jones is a master at reading and predicting fighters. Mix up your speed of attack, mix up your set ups, and throw some stuff in there just to confuse him. For example, dummy the takedown even if you have no intention of shooting. Feint as if you are going to throw a spinning strike (even if you’re not going to), and throw a high kick just to give him something to think about – get him fighting on two fronts.
See Bruce Lee’s five ways of attack for more ideas – and mix up the five methods, drawing, feinting, combinations, single attacks etc.
Elbows on the Inside?
After the oblique kicks, Jones’ stand out techniques are elbows ‘inside the pocket’. Whoever is picked to face Jones, should work extensively on countering elbows, or at least train using their own. Try some of Bas Rutten’s tips to surprise Jones – use a palm strike, and (perhaps) try using the clothesline.
Trapping, and wing chun/JKD should also be carefully studied. Jones is one of the few people to embrace these styles.
Counter the Range-Finding Straight Arm and Fingers
OSP was wacking Jon’s hand away every time he tried to measure him with a long hand and pointy fingers.
Maybe a counter is possible.
Perhaps you could palm-strike his fingers to try and bend them back (sounds a bit shit but worth a go maybe), or try a bong sau.
I remember being taught a version of this, whereby you would hyper-extend the arm (armbar style) by pulling on the arm/wrist and throwing a ‘pushing’ elbow just above the elbow joint.
So you pivot to the outside, pull the arm towards you by pulling the guys wrist towards you, and smash the elbow away using your own elbow on the other arm.
You can also strike the inside of the bicep to give a dead arm.
Holding an arm out, also opens up the rib cage for kicks. Perhaps a bit risky. You could however change lead-legs so that your lead legs are matching (orthodox to southpaw, or vice versa) and try an oblique kick of your own to Jon’s front knee.
Jones has a go-to answer for most of the standard techniques seen in MMA. So you may need to take a risk to beat him. Look to JKD, Krav Maga, Keysi, Judo and Savate for some techniques that will suit your body-type and style.
Jones will also start to “read” you if you keep repeating any technique, or keep defending in a particular way, so mix it up.
DC should obviously move forwards to get into range, but he needs to mix things up a bit if possible. Feinting, and even drawing Jones to strike first. Good video here about using drawing to fight taller guys.
DC ran into trouble when he was static, just outside of his own range, and Jones was able to land kicks. I guess circling (let’s say to the right), and having a counter ready for any strike Jones may throw from his left-hand-side (you can walk into headkicks, and hooking strikes if you circle all the time)
I like Jones as a fighter, and he seems nice when interviewed, but he is basically the UFC’s equivalent of Justin Bieber and is dangerously irresponsible.
Please, someone, leather him. Cheers.