NBA's James Johnson Believes One Year of Training Could Beat UFC Champ Jon Jones


NBA star James Johnson has boldly asserted that, given just a year of dedicated training, he could outperform UFC legend Jon Jones in their own arena.

Currently holding the title of UFC Heavyweight Champion, Jon Jones is widely recognized as the premier fighter in the world today. He is gearing up to defend his title against Stipe Miocic at Madison Square Garden in New York on November 11. However, Jones has shown limited interest in taking on other contenders vying for the heavyweight championship in the UFC, instead contemplating a showdown with a figure like Tyson Fury.

The unexpected challenge comes from James Johnson, a towering figure at 6'8" and weighing 240 pounds. While size is a factor in combat sports, it's just one element in a complex equation.

"I think I could beat him for real," Johnson asserted during an appearance on the "NBA Rookie Life" show hosted by former NBA star turned broadcaster Ryan Hollins.

"I have respect for Jones. I would need a year. My standup game is solid, but as we all know, Jones is a collegiate wrestler—exceptionally skilled on the ground, and that's not my strong suit.

"I genuinely believe I could best him, but as I mentioned, it would take a year of training in defense. Specifically, I need to work on ground defense."

Johnson goes on to highlight the differing trajectories of their athletic journeys, stating, "He started learning how to use your hands and your feet—what?—after college? Like, I've been punching and kicking since I was five or six years old.

"The same thing for me is the opposite for him because he's been wrestling for that long. Learning all his wrestling moves - as long as I can keep him from going on the floor, I win."

It's a bold statement from Johnson, underscoring the multifaceted nature of combat sports, where skills in various disciplines come into play. Whether this hypothetical face-off between Johnson and Jones ever materializes remains a subject of speculation, but the assertion certainly adds an intriguing twist to the conversation surrounding these two accomplished athletes.