Over the weekend, the UFC announced that heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou was being released from the company and that Jones will fight Ciryl Gane for the vacant title at UFC 285 in March. The announcement ended once and for all the long-awaited super fight between Ngannou and Jones, and while that is bad news for fans, former heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier believes it may also be bad news for Jones.
“I thought Jon vs. Francis was the biggest and my most anticipated fight because of the dangers that Francis Ngannou presents to Jon Jones with the power and everything,” Cormier said on his YouTube channel. “But let’s not go crazy and act as if Jon Jones hasn’t seen power before. He’s seen power. Nothing like the power of Ngannou, but I believe that what he has now may be a more difficult style matchup in Ciryl Gane...”
“Ciryl Gane’s movement, and the way that he attacks is going to make him very difficult for Jones, because as good as Jones is, Jones isn’t a guy that moves very much. He’s very stationary and going forward. He’s long, so he uses those long range weapons to really take control of guys like me and other guys he’s fought in the octagon. But he’s not a guy that moves around and creates a ton of angles. A lot of straight and long range weapons... The issue is with Ciryl Gane, you’re going to have a big guy who possesses a lot of those same qualities, with the ability to move. Go back and watch Jones, he’s pretty flatfooted. Gane isn’t.”
Cormier went on to add that after fighting Ngannou, Gane has likely improved his wrestling defense, which would be an added layer of difficulty for Jones. However, Cormier also added that Jones presents his own challenges to Gane.
“Jones still holds some advantages, though,” Cormier said. “I think his fight I.Q. is unmatched. I think his preparation is going to be really, really high level, especially seeing that he’s working with Henry Cejudo... Whatever you may think of Cejudo, he’s a brilliant fight mind. He’s a brilliant competitive mind. There aren’t many people like Henry Cejudo in the history of sports, so Jones going there is a very smart decision.”
Few men know Jones as well as Cormier, as the two fought a pair of bouts in one of the defining rivalries of the 2010s, and it was Cormier who once found himself in a similar situation as Jones — fighting for a vacant title — due to Jones’ repeated malfeasance. And with that in mind, Cormier offered some words of advice to his former rival, should he win the heavyweight title.
“Isn’t it a bit ironic that Jon Jones is fighting for a vacant heavyweight championship?” Cormier said. “Do you guys remember what I went through when I won the belt? Now, it’s different, Jon hasn’t fought Francis before but isn’t it ironic that he’s in this situation now. My advice to you now, Jon, is if you win the fight, get thick skin, because people will be unrelenting.
“Right now, because Francis left, it’s almost like, ‘Francis avoided Jones.’ That’s not true. Francis would have fought Jon Jones on any day of the week. Let’s not get crazy fans. But trust me, Jones, it’s going to flip to, ‘Is he the real champion because he didn’t beat Francis Ngannou?’ if you win that fight against Ciryl Gane.”
UFC 285 takes place March 4 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Chaos. Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane set for heavyweight title fight at UFC 285, Francis Ngannou a free agent.
Tough. Ciryl Gane reacts to Francis Ngannou’s UFC exit, expects he will be tougher fight for Jon Jones.
Excuses. Dana White responds to critics on lack of punishment for NYE incident: ‘The only thing that matters is my personal life.’
UFC Vegas 67 Post-Fight Press Conference.
In Memory of Stephan Bonnar.
UFC 283 Countdown.
On To The Next One. Matches to make following UFC Vegas 67.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
You wanna talk about polar opposites…. pic.twitter.com/ViemIDEG47— Eric Nicksick (@Eric_XCMMA) January 15, 2023
Imagine Francis Ngannou bare knuckle 10oz gloves is a scary thought aswell actually, fuck that— Arnold billy allen (@Arnoldbfa) January 15, 2023
Ufc simply lost the bid for Francis , instead of admitting that , they go with the narrative the the Scariest mother fucker alive is Afraid to fight in the UFC hahhahahahhahahahhahahahhaa These jokes write themselves #PHSUnreal— Eddie Alvarez (@Ealvarezfight) January 16, 2023
Of course. And fighting for those titles, I then realized UFC controls almost the entire narrative (rankings, pay, PR, etc). You control the fight that night. Unless your injured, but need to take the fight cause there’s no contractual guarantee you will get another shot https://t.co/j3EXZaTIan— Gray Maynard (@GrayMaynard) January 16, 2023
Henry brought in Jon Jones to prepare for me. Smart but won’t help— Sean O'Malley (@SugaSeanMMA) January 15, 2023
In case you need a little motivation today… pic.twitter.com/06TdiSIUZc— Mike Swick (@officialswick) January 15, 2023
Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) vs. Ciryl Gane (11-1); UFC 285, March 4.
Leon Edwards (20-3) vs. Kamaru Usman (20-2); UFC 286, March 18.
It feels odd to say “Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day,” so instead I encourage y’all to reflect on what MLK stood for and what he means to people in the United States and the world over.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow!
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