Former NBA Player James Johnson Backs Himself To Beat Jon Jones With A Year’s Training

November 15, 2023
4 months

NBA player James Johnson has controversially claimed that he could beat UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones provided that he trained for a year.

Those comments may have the impact of undermining the sport, given the dedication that Jones has shown. After having been out of the cage for three years, he returned to stop Ciryl Gane with a first-round-submission win.

The victory made it clear that Jones was still the name to beat following Francis Ngannou’s departure from the UFC and his decision to sign with the PFL.

Therefore, to suggest that an inexperienced sportsman who has never fought in MMA could beat Jones was a stretch to say the least. And yet, that did not stop Johnson from feeling confident in his abilities.

Johnson On Jones

“I think I could beat him, for real. But like I said with a year of training defense — I just need ground defense. ..He started learning how to use your hands and your feet – what? – after college? Like, I’ve been punching and kicking since I was five, six years-old. …[It’s] the opposite for him because he’s been wrestling for that long. Learning all his wrestling moves… As long as I can keep him from going on the floor… I win,” Johnson said

Those comments are bound to raise a reaction, which is what Johnson may be hoping for. But in reality, the chances of the fight going ahead are slim.

Even Tyson Fury, the WBC heavyweight champion in boxing, had called out Jones. However, when the latter admitted he was receptive to the idea of fighting Fury in a cage, the boxer backtracked on his comments.

Fury On Jones

“See Jon Jones has piped up. Jon, you talk about me in the cage, I’m not a cage fighter mate. I’m a boxer, the best boxer actually. So if you wanna come into a boxing ring and fight me, be my guest, let me know, you don’t have to call anybody else, no Danas, nobody, you call me, because it’s a boxing fight and I’m the boss in this game, me. You’re a great fighter Jon, but you’re definitely no boxer that’s for sure. All the best, good luck,” Fury stated

In reality, Jones has bigger things on his plate to keep him busy. The champion is getting ready to face Stipe Miocic at UFC 295 on November 12th, 2023.

The latter will have a lot to prove, having fallen short in his last fight against Ngannou as the heavyweight seeks desperately to win the world title.

And since this is Jones’ first defense of his belt, after having beaten Gane, the American will be keen to prove that the win was not a one-off.

However, later down the line, a crossover fight with someone could become a possibility. The amount of money being offered may simply be too much to turn down. So moving forward, watch this space.

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