By JOHN SPECHT
MMANEWS.COM Staff Writer
Jon “Bones” Jones set to meet Vladimir Matyushenko August 1st on Versus, the second UFC card broadcast on the channel. The matchup is being received with less then stellar conversation so far. Hard to say why. I think it's because it's not the “sexy” matchup all the fans wanted. A huge main event that had a more hyped and heralded opponent for “Bones.” We all feel a little let down. But let's think about this for a minute.
Matyushenko has lost only four times in his career dating back to 1997. Whether or not he will fair better against Jones remain to be seen, but he is a strong, well seasoned fight veteran, who will try to push the pace against Jones and take advantage of what Jones has not seen thus far from his other fights in the UFC. Matyushenko will not let himself be manhandled and bullied the way Jones is used to doing to opponents. If he can keep out of the way of the vicious strikes that are part of the frame that house the longest reach in UFC history that is.
Jon “Bones” Jones is coming into this fight with huge chatter over his skills and promising future, which is why Dana White has made reference to taking it slow with his progression. Don't expect to see him being rushed into a title shot by the promotion in the near future. Dana White stated previously that he'd like to see him “get another year under his belt,” before challenging for the light heavyweight crown. He also suggested he'd have to go through a succession of worthy opponents, namely Rashad Evans, Rampage Jackson and the loser of the rematch between Lyoto Machida and Shogun Rua first. That could get real interesting.
Before verbally agreeing to fight Matyushenko, Jones had this to say about any future opponents.
“I'm predicting a fight against someone like Ryan Bader, but I really wouldn't want to fight against Ryan,” Jones tells a close source in a new interview. “I think we're pretty close to the same spot career-wise. I wouldn't really want to fight someone who's in the same category as me. I'd rather fight someone who's really established, someone with a really big following, someone where there's a big risk of me losing the fight. I want to try and elevate and make it to the top as fast as possible. I just want a fight with a lot of risk.”
Not really the matchup he had in mind evidently. The main risk I see with this fight for Jones, is possibly looking past Vladimir, even with everything he brings to the fight table. I really have a hard time believing that he won't look to the future before this fight. Either way, I still expect a decent fight from both men on this one.