Count out Jon Jones as someone who’s looking forward to his upcoming fight against Ryan Bader early next year. On this past Friday night’s edition of Inside MMA, Jones told Kenny Rice and Bas Rutten that he’s tired of fighting wrestlers like Bader.
“I’m actually really sick of fighting this type of style. Matt Hamill, Matyushenko, Jake O’Brien… they all have that similar kind of style. Their main focus is that double leg dive and [they have] sub-par boxing… I’m ready to fight some strikers, I’m ready to fight some south paws, I’m ready to really mix it up… I’m trying to secure a respect level with my wrestling. I’m sure Ryan Bader, the advantage he’ll have going in is to be the better wrestler and I’m going to try and prove the UFC wrong again.”
I never thought of it like that, but Jones does have a point. He’s walked through several wrestlers already. What reason is there to think he won’t do it again against Ryan Bader? Bader is arguably better than any wrestler Jones has fought before, but is he bringing anything new to the table that Jones hasn’t seen before? Probably not, but with Rampage, Machida and Evans all tied up for the foreseeable future, who else is there to put him against? Exciting match-ups for Jones are coming, he (and we) just needs to be patient.
Update: Jones sounded a little more enthusiastic about the match-up when he spoke to MMA Fighting today.
“I thought Bader was exposed. At first, Bader had me a believer in his double-legs. I thought with his strength and his power, he could double-leg down anyone. But Nogueira exposed him in the wrestling department, big time. That was interesting to see.”
“I think he gassed out and I think he’s been gassing out in his last few fights. With his strength may come a lack of cardio. … Where he has the physical power, I think genetics don’t allow him to be able to go a vicious fifteen minutes like he needs to, especially when someone really puts the heat on him.”
“I was studying him and Nogueira, but now that I know it’s Bader I’m watching all his fights, all his interviews – I’m obsessed with the guy. It’s a great feeling.”
“I want to get to know Ryan Bader as if I was his coach or his trainer,” Jones continued. “I want to know what his tendencies are, what punch he throws the most, what makes him want to shoot his double-leg, where is his mental security blanket is in the Octagon. You know, where does he like to shoot? Does he like to shoot in the middle of the cage or against the cage? Every time I watch a fight I pick up something different. I just like to study. There’s a quote that says, ‘If you know yourself and you know your opponent, you shouldn’t fear the results of 100 battles.’ Just really being prepared gives you a lot of confidence.”
Also, MMA Weekly has confirmed that fight will take place on Super Bowl weekend (Feb. 5) at UFC 127.