Jon Jones, like Anderson Silva, inspires a paradox of thinking in his peers.
On one hand, he has proven himself as an outright fearsome opponent, able to finish most any man that steps in the cage against him on any given night. On the other hand, he presents a challenge the likes of which a fighter seeks to overcome.
Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin is familiar with these feelings and recently spoke about them with the Springfield News Sun.
“The very first time I saw Jon Jones fight, I remember coming home and talking to my business partner at American Fighter and saying, ‘This guy is going to be a stud,'” Franklin said. “I knew it right away. He’s got an 84-inch reach, and he’s 6-foot-4. It’s just crazy.”
And Franklin, like a true warrior, is motivated to rise to the specific and intimidating challenges that Jones poses.
“You see guys like that, and you’re like, ‘They’re bigger than me, and they’re stronger than me,’ but I’m a fighter, and there’s a part of me that still wants to fight them and see how I’d do.”