As far back as 2012 when he first mentioned it, there was already a lot of buzz behind Jon Jones as a heavyweight contender. Many feel his athleticism and fight IQ will translate well against the biggest, hardest-hitters in the UFC.
At the same time, a lot of people are also questioning his ability to hold his own against elites like Francis Ngannou and reigning titleholder Stipe Miocic.
Former double-champion Daniel Cormier got to compete at both heavyweight and light heavyweight and fought the champ thrice already. On Monday’s episode of his weekly show with Ariel Helwani on ESPN, DC gave his take on how Jones would fare against Miocic.
“Jones won’t knock him out. Jones won’t punch him and put him to sleep,” Cormier said. “It doesn’t matter what he weighs, he does not have that punching power. He doesn’t hit very hard. Kicks hard, but he doesn’t punch very hard.
“(Stipe) knows that if he goes and fights Jones — which would be very competitive, very good fight — it would be either him knocking Jones out, or it would be a decision. Because Jones won’t knock him out.”
Despite this take, Cormier isn’t doubting that his former rival will do well in his new weight class.
“If you have that skillset, the skillset that Jon Jones has, doesn’t matter what weight class,” Cormier said. “He will be able to compete. That’s a fact. You can love him, you can hate him, but that’s a fact. 185, Jon Jones can compete. 205, Jon Jones can compete. 265, or whatever the weight is at heavyweight, Jon Jones can compete.
“He will compete against anybody. So for him to go to heavyweight, I don’t know if it’s as risky as people are trying to make it seem. He can fight those guys because I fought those guys. They’re big, they’re strong, they’re dangerous. But he can fight those guys.”