Jon Jones: If I Get Through Round One, I Beat Francis Ngannou

Jon Jones spoke in a recent podcast appearance about how he would go about handling the threat posed by the immensely dangerous Francis Ngannou inside the octagon.

It’s hard to know exactly how interested Jon is in this fight at present.

Sure, it would seem like the best move for his career and surefire way to reinvigorate the general public’s interest in his somewhat lacklustre recent run – but even still, his potential for a jump to heavyweight is nothing new. It has been a recurring question in his career ever since his initial capture of the light-heavyweight crown back in 2011 and up until this point, nothing has ever materialised.

Speaking during a recent interview with Jackass star Steve-O on his podcast Wild Ride (via BJPenn), the long-reigning UFC light-heavyweight champion explained how he would approach his mental preparation ahead of a matchup with the most feared fighter in the game.

“With Francis Ngannou, it is very simple. Get comfortable with the worst-case scenario. The worst-case scenario he knocks you the f**k out, he possibly fractures a bone in your face. That is the worst-case scenario, you get real comfortable with that idea, and then it becomes easy.

“If he doesn’t knock you out and break your face, you are smart, fast, you have a chin, you have great head movement, you can wrestle. There are a lot of ways things can play out. So, I just think about the worst-case scenario.”

That worst-case scenario almost came to pass the last time we saw Bones inside the UFC octagon – as he went five hard rounds with the highly-touted contender Dominick Reyes at UFC 247, edging out a decision by the skin of his teeth.

And while his stock has certainly been higher in the eyes of the fans, the idea of a matchup against Francis Ngannou would serve as a truly interesting risk for the usually risk-averse superstar to take.

At this point in his career, a move to heavyweight has never beckoned so strongly but even still, Jones does appear to be running into some issues at the negotiation table with the UFC. Fighting Ngannou – or any heavyweight, for that matter – makes for a much riskier time than fighting the next contender at 205lbs would and it seems as though Jones wishes to be compensated fairly for making that choice.

Jones seems to be aware of how terribly a fight with the Cameroonian could go – going on to explain how his chances at winning the fight would revolve around his ability to be mentally prepared for the worst but also physically conditioned to make it a long night for The Predator.

“[Just] get yourself mentally to a place where you are walking into that. Like, okay, I’m getting ready to go out there and this guy could possibly hurt me tonight.”

“Francis Ngannou is dangerous, yes, and I believe he has a chance to knock me the f**k out. Let’s say that out loud. But, if I don’t get knocked out, I believe I win that fight. I just have to get through round one and I win that fight.”

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Author: Cillian Cunningham

Lead mixed martial arts writer who can be contacted at cillian@punditarena.com. View all posts by Cillian Cunningham