Anthony Smith is no fan of Jon Jones.
The former UFC title challenger’s thoughts on ‘Bones’ are not a secret. Smith would come up short when he fought Jones back in 2019. He would get dominated by the champ, losing a unanimous decision over the distance.
While they respected each other in the cage, outside of it is a different story. Smith still holds a grudge towards Jones for the things he has done in his past. It may or may not play into his prediction on how Jones does at heavyweight.
Gane Beats Ngannou & Jones
‘Bones’ has beefed up to a new weight class, positioning himself for the winner of heavyweight title fight, Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane. This meeting will take place at UFC 270. Smith thinks Jones will also get the winner, given his ‘GOAT’ status. However, he doesn’t think Ngannou will be the one standing across the cage from him.
“I think Cyril Gane is the real deal.” Smith said on SiriusXM. “I’m making the bold prediction, I think Cyril gone beats Francis Ngannou. I think he does it fairly handily. I also think Cyril Gane beats Jon Jones.”
The interim champion has to beat Ngannou first, if he wants to dream about ever fighting Jones.
Explaining His Prediction
Smith had spoken and if you thought he was going to change his mind, well you’re wrong. ‘Lionheart would speak his heart out in his ‘bold’ predictions.
“When Jon Jones finds someone who matches him physically and athletically, I think that then you’re going to have to check down on his list to skill and technique. I think with Cyril Gane, I think [Jon] loses that battle. I think Cyril Gane matches his size and athletic ability, his speed, his movement.
“Cyril Gane’s absolutely the better striker for sure. The little caveat there is. If Cyril gone can, can defend a take down. I think that he beats John Jones and I think it’s boring. I think it’s a game of darts and they’re just throwing darts at each other. I just think that Cyril gone is the higher-level striker. I think he manages distance as well as, as well as it may be a little bit better than Jon Jones.
Fighting Jon Jones
Smith may not have his master’s degree in studying Jon Jones, but he does have some hands-on experience with the former champ. After all, he has spent 25 minutes inside the Octagon. So, he has a good understanding of what he is capable of.
“Being in there with John Jones for 25 minutes, I was expecting some power wrestler that I was going to really struggle with. He shot 10 take downs and stuffed eight of them. I wasn’t like a division 1 wrestler. I just was able to manage that wrestling. Once we got into the clinch, that’s when I started having problems because his arms are long.
He is deceptively strong. The clinch game’s going to be a little funky with those guys, but if they’re just at a distance… once Jon Jones plays his game, I think he loses at his own game there.”
Do you agree with Anthony Smith’s analysis?
"I'm making the bold prediction that @Ciryl_Gane beats… Jon Jones"@LionHeartASmith gives his reasons why Gane will be the one to dethrone @JohnnyBones.— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) December 22, 2021
Do YOU agree?!
Listen to the full MMA Today show here: https://t.co/EzYFMFb6uW pic.twitter.com/gMEHROP6ss