Jon Anik was sitting cage side working commentary when Francis Ngannou captured the heavyweight title at UFC 260. Seeing that power firsthand, he feels like the new champ is deserving to be a favorite in a potential Jon Jones fight.
Alongside Daniel Cormier and Joe Rogan, Anik was working the booth for last weekend’s pay-per-view card. He was just as excited as everyone watching, to see how the main event would go between Ngannou and Stipe Miocic, as they fought in a rematch for the heavyweight title.
Essentially from the start, it was clear that we were looking at a different version of Francis Ngannou. This more patient and calculated fighter was able to get the better of the champ, knocking Stipe out in the second to earn the belt.
Francis Ngannou Brings An Expectation Of Disaster
Even before UFC 260, there was an understanding that Francis Ngannou is one of the scariest punchers the UFC has ever seen. This is something that Jon Anik has seen firsthand, and feels that it is even more terrifying up close.
Speaking in a recent interview, Jon broke down what it was like seeing Francis knock out Stipe Miocic live. To him, this was a culmination of all the hard work that the new champ had been putting in over the years, but certainly the power played a massive role.
“When Francis Ngannou fights, there’s this cloud of catastrophe and this expectation that something disastrous could very well happen to his opponent, if not fatal, It’s a scary thing,” Anik said.
“There’s no doubt Francis Ngannou, when he’s fighting he feels like he’s not human. It feels like such an undertaking for whomever the opponent is. How are they going to possibly do this?
“That’s why I said privately leading up to this fight, Francis Ngannou should be favored over anybody in a mixed martial arts setting,” Anik continued.
“I’m not saying that he’s going to beat Jon Jones or that he’s better than Jon Jones skill for skill, but they lock him in a cage with another man, it seems sick and wrong. He seems like a different species.”
Jon Anik Thinks Ngannou Should Be Favored Over Jones
As Jon Anik alluded to, the next fight for Francis Ngannou seems to be Jon Jones, provided the UFC can come to terms with the light heavyweight champ. This is a great fight that has the potential to be the toughest bout in Jon’s career.
According to the the UFC commentator, this is a fight that Francis should be favored to win. That said, there is an avenue for Jones to follow to get the victory, and he should not be counted out.
“I think Francis Ngannou deserves the distinction to be favored over any man in a cage right now, in combat sports. But I don’t know that he deserves to be -180 as is the current designation in a lot of places,” Anik said.
“Even if Francis Ngannou’s primary goal in a training camp was to improve cardiovascular strength, I don’t think he’s going to be able to sustain over 25 minutes. So you have to run clock, you have to extend the fight.
“That says nothing of all of Jonny Bones’s skills and all the different things he can do. I think he has a lot of different takedowns and trips in his arsenal that maybe Stipe Miocic doesn’t have,” Anik added.
“Cage size makes a difference. I thought the 25-footer was a big advantage for Francis Ngannou, a lot of my contemporaries disagreed. I think for Jonny Jones you want to be in the 30-footer to allow your footwork, to allow Francis to chase you a little more.
“So I think priority number one has to be in the best cardiovascular strength of your entire career, which is not going to be all that easy given the extended muscle mass now. But you have to try to force rounds three four and five with Francis. I do think if Jon Jones can run clock for ten minutes or so, he has all the skills in the world. He can head kick him too, very effectively.”
Without a doubt, Francis Ngannou vs Jon Jones is going to be one of the most intriguing fights in UFC history, if it does end up happening. With Jon Anik likely calling the action, fans will be on the edge of their seats to see how that one plays out.