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UFC 260: Miočić vs. Ngannou II (3/27/2021) - Las Vegas, NV (UFC APEX)


Elsalvajeloco
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Re: who would be a tougher for Jon Jones

I was leaning 60/40 Francis going in, but now it's like 70/30 after the fact.

Here is the thing about Jon: There was a time where he was the most dynamic fighter on the planet. He was a swiss army knife, basically the first of his kind in MMA (Frank Shamrock was probably the prototype). Then, what happened after he came back from outside the ring issues and PED issues is guys started playing prevent defense against him. If you'll remember, Anderson Silva went through that phase with Thales Leites and Patrick Cote.

It started in the OSP fight in 2016. We saw it with Anthony Smith. I think that was Gustafsson's gameplan in 2018 when they rematched except Jon was motivated to remove all doubt from the previous fight. Once it became apparent doing as little as possible to win wasn't going to work, I think guys have slowly figured out if you crowd him that he doesn't have room to set anything up or improv. We saw that against Marreta and Reyes. Jon decided I'm not going to let these other guys get me out of my gameplan and be too aggressive. That complacency almost got him beat.

I think with Stipe that Stipe would have allowed for Jon to fight at his own pace. I think that's the problem Gustafsson ran up against in the rematch. I think Stipe would have looked fine the first round and then got slowly picked apart and eventually TKO'd. I don't think Ngannou would allow for Jon to fight at that deliberate of a pace. Plus, one thing I haven't liked about Jon recently is totally too stationary at moments. The same way he use to beat guys is the same way guys are able to look competitive against him now. Ngannou isn't the guy you can just do that against. I fear Jon's age is starting to creep up on him, and he's starting to look a guy who is no longer in his prime yet can still find ways to win fights. Four or five years ago, I would have said damn skippy this guy has what it takes to be heavyweight champ. This version of Jon Jones? I'm way less confident just because he's been around FOREVER in MMA time. 

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2 minutes ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

Plus, one thing I haven't liked about Jon recently is totally too stationary at moments

This is it. His defense is weird these days. He willingly takes shots to demoralize opponents. No way in hell that works against Ngannou. He's going to have to be moving pretty much all the time. 

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9 minutes ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

This version of Jon Jones? I'm way less confident just because he's been around FOREVER in MMA time. 

This along with the drugs too had to have done damage to Bones. Jones hasn't looked good in his last couple of fights with the exception of Gustafsson II as Gus disappointed whereas Jones had a point to prove. Thought he honestly lost to Gustafsson in their first fight, Thiago Santos and Dominick Reyes.

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1 minute ago, Jiji said:

This is it. His defense is weird these days. He willingly takes shots to demoralize opponents. No way in hell that works against Ngannou. He's going to have to be moving pretty much all the time. 

IMO I don't think it's trying to demoralize his opponents as much it's a shock to the system to go from opponents who won't do anything to those willing to take all the chances in the world. That's why a Thiago Santos or Dominick Reyes can look like world beaters in those fights against Jon, but lose the next time they fight after going against Jon Jones. A younger Jon Jones would have been able to deal with those difficult situations. Now he's ultra conservative and the athleticism gap between his opponents has closed enough to where he can't dictate the pace of a fight from the outset. That's super troubling for someone who is making the move up in weight this late in his career.

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I'm certainly MORE than interested in seeing what Jones plans to do at heavyweight. He might change things up at heavyweight.

With Jones vs. Stipe I feel like Miocic lets find Jones find his rhythm which is scary. And again I feel bad because I feel like I'm shortchanging one of the best heavyweight champes ever.

With Francis.....there's the eraser and that's exciting....but I don't put anything past Jon Jones. That fight is massive. Francis not having to wildly wing it and land a KO to win is wild.

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8 minutes ago, The Natural said:

This along with the drugs too had to have done damage to Bones. Jones hasn't looked good in his last couple of fights with the exception of Gustafsson II as Gus disappointed whereas Jones had a point to prove. Thought he honestly lost to Gustafsson in their first fight, Thiago Santos and Dominick Reyes.

I don't think it's drugs just because drug guys in fighting usually have their 3-6 good years from the start of their career and then it goes off the rails (pun intended maybe?) spectacularly. There were some heavyweights in boxing that managed to prolong their careers with similar problems, but like MMA, the heavyweight division has historically been top heavy even in its best years. Also, the performances get super inconsistent as opposed to when they were in their physical primes and could overcome those problems created by those issues.

You don't have a 12 and a half year career in the UFC if you're that hooked on any types of drugs, recreational or otherwise.

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As soon as Francis wins, Cormier was all about "Jon Jones is the fight! Put Jones in there with him!". Because he still really dislikes the guy and thinks Francis will knock his head off.

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Ngannou sounded so humble and gracious during the interview, but you can do that when you have grenades embedded in your knuckles.

As much as I'd like to say that Ngannou is the easier match-up for Jones stylistically, I don't think that Jones has ever faced an opponent with the lights out power that Francis has.  If Jones stands and trades with Francis just to prove a point, he's going to get slept.

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4 hours ago, AxB said:

As soon as Francis wins, Cormier was all about "Jon Jones is the fight! Put Jones in there with him!". Because he still really dislikes the guy and thinks Francis will knock his head off.

This could be true but also: In the last three years, Stipe has only had to prepare for two guys (Ngannou and Cormier). The last person as HW champ that had to deal with that is Cain Velasquez. That didn't go well for Cain once he fought someone new. It's much easier to zero in on people when you've faced them already. Plus, it's not like Stipe had easy fights. Between wear and tear, age, and just inactivity, the last fight with Cormier felt like Stipe's last hurray as champion and probably a fighter period if Francis could pull out a rematch. It was either Stipe was gonna prove age ain't nothing but a number or it's finally Ngannou's time to be champion. The latter happened, which people were leaning to.

Also in fairness, considering the guy Cormier is as a company man, he would said Stipe was the fight for Jon Jones had he won. 😂

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"Enjoy the process."

Amid all the well-deserved fervor for Ngannou, I do want to give a shoutout to Vicente Luque, who picked up a great win over Tyron Woodley. Woodley was 0-3 going into this fight, but those were grinding 5-round fights against Usman, Burns, and Covington. They weren't putting Woodley away in the first round.

Unfortunately for Woodley, looks like he's going to be put out to pasture with that loss.

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Man I love watching UFC on the actual fight night, but when it comes to hype it’s just so hard for me to get invested until weigh ins are complete. Jones/Ngannou is certainly exciting, but at this point I’m expecting them to book Francis vs. Lewis in the summer, and Lewis could very easily win that and squander all the big money fights.

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