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Anthony Johnson: Volkan Oezdemir is a beast, but would lose to Jon Jones

Anthony Johnson
Anthony Johnson
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Anthony Johnson was full of praise for his old sparring partner and former Combat Club teammate, Volkan Oezdemir, after his first round knockout of Jimi Manuwa at UFC 214.

Johnson wasn’t surprised in the least that the Swiss light-heavyweight ended Manuwa’s night in the first round.

“Volkan is a beast, that’s what he is,” said Johnson on the latest episode of The MMA Hour.

“Volkan has been my main training partner for the last year and a half.

“From the beginning, I said Volkan (would win). Jimi is fast, but he is not strong, that’s the truth.

“I told (Volkan) that every time Jimi throws a punch he has to counter him and let him know that he’s there,” Johnson continued. “I told him not to play around with him.

“Volkan went out there and did his thing. I didn’t know he was going to knock him out like that.

“I told him, ‘Jimi is riding on cloud nine right now,’ he’s been really confident ever since he fought me. Then he started talking about how he wanted a rematch with me or whatever, but Volkan went out there and showed him what’s it all about.”

Although Johnson spoke very highly of Oezdemir, he does not think the 15-1 fighter would be ready for the challenge that newly crowned champion Jon Jones brings to the table.

“Jon is still at another level,” Johnson said. “... Jon, man, for sure. That’s just the reality of it. Jon would win, I know that, but Volkan is not a p***y. He can take a lot of punishment and keep going.

“I’ve hit Volkan with some bombs. He might have shaken his head, but then he’d come right back for me. He’s the real deal.

“Volkan isn’t the fastest,” Johnson added. “He’s kind of like DC (Daniel Cormier), he has heart… a lot of heart.”

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