Jon “Bones” Jones has surely silenced his critics. After an impressive title defense win against Rampage Jackson where he dominated the fight, I think we can officially say Jones is a legitimate force. Rampage admittedly was in the best shape of his life, yet was no match for the über athletic, tactically creative, and most definitely cocky, Jones.
Jones (who should be nick named Jon “Long” Jones) has the longest reach in UFC history, at an astounding 84 and a half inches. That’s 11 and a half inches longer than his opponent Rampage. His gangly arms made headlines leading into the fight, but it was Jones’ daddy long legs that were doing the damage when the bell rang. His leg kicks dominated Jackson and kept him at bay.
This fight got me thinking. Wouldn’t it have been great to know what Jones’ leg length advantage was?
Before each fight, the UFC has their Tale Of The Tape that breaks down the vital stats of each fighter: origin, age, weight, height, and reach. Boxing has shown the same stats for years. We’ve been groomed to associate the term “reach” to mean arm/punch length. However, noticeably absent in MMA in particular the UFC, there isn’t a stat on the leg reach of each fighter. Just short of telling me their zodiac sign, it’s a non factor what the kick advantage one fighter has over his opponent. In MMA, punches and kicks are thrown. Arm and leg reach work in conjunction. Why tell me one stat without the other. When men buy a suit, doesn’t the tailor take your arm length, and inseam? A jelly sandwich is ok, but with peanut butter, fuggedaboutit! Some things work best together. There needs to be this statistical addition, and a change in the terminology culture in reference to “reach”.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe that the UFC has only been around since 1993. 1993! I remember that was such a great year. Basement jams were the ish and Hip Hop was some real music. ’93 was my personal best year as a sports fan too; the Jays were World Series Champs and the Bulls had three-peated their way into a dynasty. Good times. Man, I’m sounding old. My point is, ’93 wasn’t that long ago, and we are privy to the UFC’s evolution right before our eyes. The UFC is touted as “the fastest growing sport in the world”, but like all things new, there is still room for improvement.
Those who know me may think I’m championing this leg reach movement because I’m a disproportionate girl who has problems finding jeans long enough to fit, and you may be right. But I still think the addition of this stat not only completes the UFC’s Tale Of The Tape picture, it separates them from every other fighting league.
Dana, you’re welcome.
Thank you to bleacherreport.com for the image