The UFC makes its second trip to the VS network on August 1st, headlining the San Diego California card with a classic "Young Gun" against "Grizzled Veteran" in the main event.
Jon Jones may be the most exciting young prospect in MMA today. He sports a 10-1 record, with his only loss coming via disqualification for beating on Matt Hamill too severely. Essentially undefeated, he's beaten Andre Gusmao, Stephan Bonnar, Jake O'Brien and Brandon Vera along with his DQ loss to Matt Hamill to compile a 4-1 record in the UFC.
Jones is known for his penchant for dramatic throws, unorthodox striking, and powerful ground and pound. Jones is an accomplished amateur wrestler, winning the New York state HS wrestling title and the National Junior College Championship at Iowa Lakes Community College before dropping out. Jones is thought of as an incredible prospect for many reasons. When he signed with the UFC in 2008 he was the youngest fighter on the roster. In the two years since his signing, he's gone 4-1 and never been in a losing situation in a fight. He's still only 23 years old, and displays excellent technical ability as well as superior athleticism.
Jones's opponent, Vladimir Matyusheko, is at the opposite point of his career. Matyushenko has been fighting since Jon Jones was ten years old. Nicknamed 'The Janitor', Matyushenko has fought a who's who of MMA, including Vernon 'Tiger' White, Yuki Kondo, Tito Ortiz, Little Nog, Pedro Rizzo, and Andrei Arlovski. To put the generational difference in perspective: He fought Vernon White and Anthony Macias in one night (likely) before Jon Jones hit puberty. He fought Tito Ortiz for the UFC middleweight title right around the time Jones was entering high school.
Despite his 39 years, "The Janitor" doesn't seem to be slowing down. Since losing to Arlovski in 2003, Matyushenko has gone 11-1, accumulating the IFL light heavyweight title and most recently two consecutive UFC victories. The Janitor comes from a wrestling background, having been a member of the Belarusian national team before he began fighting in MMA. He tends to utilize his wrestling to control fights, and has a reputation as a grinder.
What should we expect? Jones is a massive favorite according to the oddsmakers. Bodog lists odds of
Jones simply has more ways to win. Jones should have a sizable advantage striking, using his superior length, quickness and unpredictability to batter Matyushenko. In order for The Janitor to have a chance, he'll most likely have to take Jones down and control him, either winning a decision or finishing Jones on the ground. Matyushenko has impressive wrestling credentials, but Jones has shown that his wrestling is also superb, and at this point in his career Matyushenko simply doesn't have the speed and athleticism Jones does. Expect to see Jones have his way with Vlad on the feet, likely mixing his striking with takedowns on his way to an early KO/TKO stoppage.