Michael Bisping thinks Jon Jones’ only chance of beating Francis Ngannou is if he can drag the UFC heavyweight champion to the mat and outwrestle him.
Jones has yet to make his heavyweight debut but is confident that he has what it takes to beat ‘The Predator after watching his heavyweight title defense against Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 last Saturday.
“At the end of the day, I’m f-cking them both up,” Jones posted on Twitter following the fight.
Bisping, however, insists the former light heavyweight champ and pound-for-pound No. 1 stands no chance against Ngannou — a knockout artist — on the feet.
“Only until they fight will we really know the answer to that,” Bisping told Submission Radio in a recent interview. “However, it all depends on Jon Jones’ wrestling. If Jon can’t take him down, he ain’t beating Francis Ngannou, and I don’t care about, ‘Oh, he’s the master of gameplans,’ and all this type of stuff. If you’re forced to stand toe-to-toe with Francis Ngannou, and you cannot take him down, Jon’s probably going to get knocked out. Let’s be honest. We all know how hard he hits. He looked great Saturday night. He was working the body more than just going for the head. That shows a lot of maturity.”
“And in terms of wrestling, I mean, yes, of course Jon’s a better wrestler. But Francis is bloody strong, and he’s getting better at wrestling all the time. And I think it was DC who said on Saturday night, height-wise they’re kind of similar, Ciryl and Francis. But when you looked at their legs, the legs, the thighs, the ass on Francis Ngannou, absolutely gigantic. And I know that sounds like a weird comment talking about the size of Francis’ ass, but that’s where the power comes from. It really does. So yeah, listen, we can sit here and ponder all day long, but until the fight happens, we don’t know. We just don’t know.”
Jones’ bread and butter will always be his wrestling but the Rochester native is certainly no slouch on the feet. The 34-year-old holds stoppage victories against Shogun Rua, Lyoto Machida, and Alexander Gustafsson to name but a few.
Ngannou, of course, is a different animal altogether, but Jones has demonstrated the ability time and time again to hold his own against some of the best strikers in the game, with other notable victories against Rampage Jackson and Vitor Belfort.
Jones was last seen in action at UFC 247 where he defeated then-top light heavyweight contender Dominick Reyes via unanimous decision.