As MMA fans await the upcoming fight between Jon Jones and Vladimir Matyushenko at Sunday’s UFC on Versus 2, the world will get to see if Jones is as ready as he thinks he is to take on the best in the light heavyweight division. In a fight that features two who excel in their ground game, this fight isn’t about whether Jones can beat Matyushenko, but to gauge just how far he has come. Matyuskenko is a quality opponent, but it just does not seem that he will have enough in his arsenal to get past the strong wrestling background of Jones.
Jones has a unique wrestling style that has posed problems for his opponents. Once he gets people down, it usually turns into a huge mess for his opponents as his long arms can strike from such odd angles. Greg Jackson, who trains Jones, does however see a legitimate threat in Matyushenko though.
“I want to watch the pace because Vladimir is just going to try to get in there I think and stuff us. Get inside. Break us. That’s my concern, him just trying to stuff us, smother and stay on top and he’s going try and stifle Jon’s creativity,” Jackson said.
The problem for Matyushenko will be getting Jones down, something no one has been able to accomplish. A stand up fight does not look good for the Belarusian either. Jones has a 10-inch reach advantage and his speed is much better than Matyushenko’s. Getting to the ground is where Matyushenko will have his only shot. He too is well versed with a wrestling background, but Jackson feels that Jones’ non-traditional style of wrestling will be too much for him to handle. And not having been exposed to it before is a huge disadvantage for Matyushenko.
“I think he’s easily as good if not better than Vladimir only because of his unique wrestling style. He has a style if you haven’t dealt with it, it’s very, very difficult to deal with,” said Jackson. “Matyushenko is a much more decorated wrestler and has more experience but I think what negates that is Jon Jones has unorthodox wrestling… I feel very comfortable in the wrestling department.”
MMA sportsbooks do not feel that Matyushenko has a shot either. They have his moneyline set a +500 for the fight and have Jones as a huge favorite with his set at -800.