• UFC 140

Jon Jones 'improving leaps and bounds' - Jackson

ESPN staff
November 11, 2011
Jon Jones is preparing for his second UFC title defence © Getty Images

Greg Jackson has sounded an ominous warning to Lyoto Machida ahead of his December title fight, claiming Jon Jones is making vast improvements to his already-sensational skill set.

Machida meets Jones at UFC 140 in December, attempting to succeed where both Mauricio Shogun Rua and Rampage Jackson have failed already this year. Jones is looking like a dominant light-heavyweight champion, and Machida starts as a big underdog.

Already in his short career Jones has displayed an outstanding, multi-faceted skill base, mixing spinning elbows with flying knees, judo throws with double-leg takedowns, and lacerating ground-and-pound with slick submissions.

Machida will need to figure out mixed martial arts' Rubik's cube, but Jackson insists Jones is adding new tools with every training session that he undertakes.

"Absolutely, he's learning like crazy," Jackson told Sherdog Radio Network's Savage Dog Show. "There's still a lot of stuff that he's picking up constantly because he's very young.

"He's very good at what he's doing right now, but he's still very young in the game. No matter how good you are, there's just an amount of knowledge that has to be passed and that takes a certain amount of time, even if you pick up everything right away.

"So he's still improving leaps and bounds."

Jackson is preparing another one of his fighters, Clay Guida, for a tough assignment against Ben Henderson in the lightweight division this weekend. In Jackson's eyes, it is a meeting between two of the most underrated stars at 155lbs.

"Ben Henderson is a phenomenal, amazing fighter and one of the most underrated 155ers in the world right now," Jackson said. "Nobody gives him his due, and they should because he's very, very good.

"The great thing about Clay is, he gets counted out of every fight. Every fight I give almost this exact same interview. Everybody's like, 'Well, he's tough, but …' and then he wins and he wins and he wins and he wins.

"I hope we can do it again because he's been on a great streak since he joined our camp. I hope that he can overcome Ben's very, very technical talents and his physical talents. I hope we'll be victorious."

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