Former NBA player James Johnson claims he would only need “a year of training” to beat UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones

By Susan Cox - September 18, 2023

Former NBA player, James Johnson, claims he would only need ‘a year of training’ to beat UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones.

Jon ‘Bones’ Jones  (27-1 MMA) is currently preparing to defend his title against Stipe Miocic (20-4 MMA) this coming November at UFC 295 which takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Johnson, now 36, believes he could beat Jon Jones inside the cage. While saying it would take a year of training, he’s sure he would have the edge over the MMA GOAT as long as they stayed on their feet.

Jon Jones

Speaking  with sports journalist Ryan Hollins on the ‘NBA Rookie Life’ podcast, Johnson stated:

“I rock with Jon Jones. I would need a year. My standup game is great but what we all know with Jones is he’s a collegiate wrestler, really good on the ground and that’s not my forte. I can get on the ground. To his level? I’m not there yet I’d definitely need a year to work on counters and defences against it so that we can stay on our feet.”

At 6’7″ and 240 pounds, Johnson is said to have a second-degree black belt in karate, a 20-0 kickboxing record and a 7-0 record in MMA.

Concluding Johnson shared (h/t MMAMania) the following about Jon Jones:

“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. 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.”

What do you think of Johnson’s claims the he would defeat current UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones after a year of training? Would you like to see Jones vs Johnson become a reality inside the cage?

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