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Making The Case For Jon Jones To Fight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira At UFC 114

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Michael David Smith takes a stab at it:

If the UFC really wants to give fans a great fight on May 29, and really wants to put together the kind of matchup that can separate the contenders from the pretenders in the light heavyweight division, it will put Nogueira in the Octagon with Jon Jones.

Yes, I know there are a million reasons not to do this. The fight is less than four weeks away, meaning Jones wouldn't have time for a full training camp. Jones has already been penciled in for a fight with Vladimir Matyushenko on the Versus card in August, meaning that card would need to be shuffled. And there's a school of thought that you shouldn't rush young prospects into big fights because you'll stunt their growth if they're pushed into top competition before they're ready.

Ya know I was thinking about this when the news came out that Forrest Griffin was pulling out of the Nogueira fight last night.  I was trying to find reasons why Jones shouldn't take the fight.  I came up with the ones Smith pointed out for the most part:

-The fight would be on short notice

-Jones has a fight scheduled alread

-If Jones lost, it would be to a fighter that casual fans know little about

But, I do agree that it would be a great fight that would answer a lot of questions about the phenom.  A loss wouldn't derail the hype train that much depending on how he lost, it would simply reveal the holes he needs to close in his game.  Which are holes we haven't really seen too much of as of yet.  It would grant Jones a great deal of exposure because that UFC 114 card is going to do good numbers IMO. 

Lastly, a win for Jones here would be the biggest feather in his cap.  He would have defeated a guy that has very good hands and a very dangerous submission game, and he's a guy that I have as a top 5 LHW in Nogueira.  The one thing I like about this fight is that Jones could take advantage of Nogueira's lack of wrestling.  He'd just have to avoid the submissions from Nogueria, and he wouldn't be able to lay in his guard the same way he did to Brandon Vera.  The other thing is that Jones would be taking the fight on short notice, but so would Nogueira and Jones is a much different fighter than Griffin to prepare for.  So maybe it would even things out a bit?  Thoughts?