Anthony Smith Believes Jon Jones Would Have Beaten Francis Ngannou in a ‘Boring Five-Rounder’

Smith believes 'Bones' would have come out on top in a less-than-entertaining clash with Francis Ngannou

Anthony Smith
Courtesy of @UFCNews and @MMAFighting onX

Light heavyweight contender Anthony Smith believes Jon Jones would have handled business had he met Francis Ngannou inside the Octagon.

At one time, a fight between Jones and Ngannou seemed inevitable. With ‘The Predator’ sitting atop the heavyweight throne and ‘Bones’ actively negotiating his long-awaited division debut, all signs pointed toward the pair clashing at some point in 2023. Then the UFC released Francis Ngannou.

After two years of failed negotiations, the promotion cut their losses and let Ngannou walk, opening the door for Jones to swoop in and take the heavyweight title for himself. 

Speaking with Ariel Helwani on Wednesday’s episode of The MMA Hour, former Jon Jones opponent Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith was asked who he believes would have come out on top in the fabled heavyweight clash.

“Jon is just too dynamic. It’s not about can you outstrike Jon. It’s can you not let Jon neutralize you,” Smith said. “It’s not about the wrestling. It’s him neutralizing how good you are. Go to where you’re the best and he’ll neutralize that. He won’t necessarily beat you there, but he’ll just nil it. And then you’ve gotta hope that you’re good enough everywhere else. He’s very unique.”

Anthony Smith Believes Jones vs. Ngannou Would Have Left a Lot to Be Desired

Smith confirmed that Jon Jones would be his pick should the fight ever come to fruition, but he doesn’t anticipate that the contest would produce any real entertainment value. 

“I don’t think it would have been exciting. I think it would have been a boring five-rounder,” Smith said. “I think Jon would have left without a mark on his face, but Francis probably would have too.”

Since Jones’ return to the Octagon, Ngannou has only competed once, but it’s the only fight that anyone seems interested in talking about these days. On October 28, ‘The Predator’ made his professional boxing against reigning WBC heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury. Entering the contest as a +750 underdog, Ngannou delivered the performance of a lifetime, bloodying ‘The Gypsy King’ throughout their 10-round affair. 

The night’s biggest highlight came in the third round when Francis Ngannou sent Fury crashing to the canvas with a well-timed counter left.

Despite all of that, Fury still escaped with a split-decision victory.

Ngannou remains hopeful that he can somehow manage to get a fight with Jon Jones booked, but in the meantime, ‘The Predator’ is fielding offers from some of boxing’s biggest names, including Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua, and Joe Joyce. Needless to say, even if Ngannou never faces Jon Jones, he’ll still have plenty of marquee names lining up to throw hands with him. 

Watch the full interview below:

Published on November 8, 2023 at 9:13 pm
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