NBA Player James Johnson Thinks He Can Defeat UFC Champion Jon Jones With Ground Defense Training

Johnson believes he can get the better of Jones inside the Octagon.

James Johnson Jon Jones
(via NBA & Zuffa LLC)

NBA power forward James Johnson has turned a lot of heads with his recent comments on UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones.

It isn’t everyday that you read about an NBA player saying he believes he can defeat a prizefighter. It’s hard for one to imagine Georges St-Pierre telling Michael Jordan that he can beat him in a one-on-one basketball game. Yet, here we are talking about Johnson, a 14-year NBA veteran, claiming he can defeat MMA legend Jon Jones in a fight.

You can’t make this up.

James Johnson Says He Can Defeat Jon Jones

During an episode of the “NBA Rookie Life” podcast, James Johnson dropped the head-scratching quote about having what it takes to beat Jones in an MMA fight.

“I think I could beat him, for real,” Johnson said. “But like I said, with a year of training defense. I just need ground defense.”

Johnson doubled down, implying that he has an edge over “Bones” in the standup game. At least the basketball player conceded that Jones has better grappling.

“The opposite is, he started learning how to use your hands and your feet, what? After college? I’ve been punching and kicking since I was five, six years old,” Johnson said. “So, the same thing for me, though, is the opposite for him because he’s been wrestling for that long, learning all his wrestling moves and things like that for that long. For me, I started learning the wrestling game and all that in middle school, the jiu-jitsu. He has a big advantage there ’cause no one wants to get on the floor, but as long as I can keep him from going on the floor, I’ll win.”

Pretty much all of the MMA community has had a good laugh out of Johnson’s recent comments. Time will tell if Jones will entertain what the NBA star had to say. “Bones” has bigger fish to fry, as he’ll be putting the UFC heavyweight gold on the line against Stipe Miocic at UFC 295 on November 11.

Here is a video clip of the podcast where James Johnson made the comments on fighting Jon Jones:

Published on September 18, 2023 at 10:44 am
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