Ex-MMA Champion Expects Jon Jones to Make Quick Work of Alex Pereira in Potential Clash: ‘It’s Over in Like Two Minutes’

Former Bellator MMA champ Ben Askren believes 'Bones' would finish Pereira the same way he put away Ciryl Gane

Ben Askren Talks Jones Vs Pereira
Ben Askren Talks Jones Vs Pereira - Image credit @alexpoatanpereira @Bony Instagram @ESPNMMA Youtube

Ben Askren sees Jon Jones dominating Alex Pereira the same way he practically walked through Ciryl Gane last year.

After sitting atop the light heavyweight division for more than a decade, ‘Bones’ returned from a three-year-long layoff at UFC 285 to claim the vacant heavyweight crown with a quick two-minute submission victory over perennial contender Ciryl Gane. 

Jones was originally scheduled to defend his belt against consensus heavyweight GOAT Stipe Miocic at the UFC’s annual event inside MSG last November, but a pectoral injury forced him to bow out of the bout. Since then, Jones has been sitting on the sidelines, but he recently made his way back into the headlines after suggesting that a fight between himself and reigning 205-pound titleholder Alex Pereira would be the biggest possible fight the UFC could make right now. 

During a Q&A session ahead of UFC 301, ‘Poatan’ welcomed a potential clash with the undisputed heavyweight champ, prompting pundits to share their predictions.

During a recent appearance on Daniel Cormier’s YouTube channel, former ONE and Bellator MMA champion Ben Askren believes there are a lot of questions yet to be answered about Alex Pereira’s grappling skills. Because of that, ‘Funky’ feels like Jones would make quick work of the Brazilian, just as he did against ‘Bon Gamin’ a year ago. 

“I think people would view [Jones vs. Pereira] — if Alex could beat Tom Aspinall, he would have to stop some takedowns, right?” Askren said. “People wanna see him have the ability to stop takedowns because if you can’t stop takedowns from Jon Jones, he’s gonna take you down and submit you.

“We saw Pereira be taken down by Izzy Adesanya, and he was kept down for actually a significant portion of time. It is kinda wild that we have this guy Pereira who is making his mark as one of the best ever, yet [we] still have questions about his wrestling. We don’t know because Jamahal Hill didn’t try to take him down. Prochazka didn’t try. Blachowicz actually took him down and kept him down for a round, but Strickland didn’t try a takedown. Adesanya didn’t.

“If he fights Jon Jones, I think there’s a chance it’s over in like, two and a half minutes. Look what Jon did to Ciryl Gane. Jon is a large man, he’s a high-level wrestler, he’s got great grappling skills. Yeah, I think there’s a possibility of that, for sure.”

Alex Pereira Continues to Stack Bodies While Jon Jones Lights Up Social Media

While Jon Jones has stayed active on social media, ‘Poatan’ has been laying waste to the competition. In November, Pereira scored a second-round knockout of Jiri Prochazka to claim the light heavyweight title — his second division title in a year. 

Headlining the promotion’s landmark event in Las Vegas last month, Pereira successfully defended his strap with a stunning opening-round KO of Jamahal Hill

Initially, it appeared as though Pereira’s next task would be to take out streaking Russian standout Magomed Ankalaev later this year, but it appears as though ‘Poatan’ has his sights set on a rematch with Prochazka after ‘BJP’ earned a big knockout win of his own at UFC 300, defeating Aleksandar Rakic in the featured prelim. 

As it stands, Jones is expected to fight Stipe Miocic later this year, but if he comes out on top, a superfight with Alex Pereira could be on deck for early 2025.

The only question is, where does that leave Tom Aspinall?

Watch the full episode below:

Published on May 9, 2024 at 1:37 pm
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