During a recent interview with Submission Radio, Jon Jones' coach Mike Winkeljohn was asked if Francis Ngannou's striking power is a scary proposition for his pupil. 'Wink' told that even after reinventing his game with a more measured approach, Francis Ngannou will definitely try to knock Jon Jones out when they fight. Wink claimed that Jones will capitalize on Ngannou's knockout attempts and emerge as the victor.
"If every punch is a knockout punch, he (Francis Ngannou) is easier to fight. Because there is no set-ups. There is no baits, there is no feints. He's always winging for fences. Those can be seen. There are telegraphs. They are coming out of nowhere. Unless you are hurt and coming in exposed, you should be able to avoid those. That will be the game.
I think he has matured. I think he isn't that (wild) guy as much anymore. But I think he is still gonna want to try (to) knock Jon out and we're gonna capitalize on that," Mike Winkeljohn said.
UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has won all but one of his fights in the UFC by the way of a knockout. Ngannou's punching power has been cited as the key to his victory over the virtually undefeated light heavyweight GOAT Jon Jones, especially after the outcome of Ngannou's rematch with Stipe Miocic at UFC 260.
Mike Winkeljohn hinted at taking a point-fighting approach against Ngannou in the early going. The risk of getting knocked out by power punchers can be significantly diminished, especially in the later rounds. Even with a more patient fighting style, Francis Ngannou's cardio for a five-round contest is still an unknown entity.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones vacated his title to chase heavyweight gold in 2020. UFC president Dana White announced earlier in 2021 that Jon Jones will fight the winner of Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou 2 for the heavyweight title.
However, the unpleasant exchanges between White and Jon Jones in the aftermath of UFC 260 have surrounded the potential fight in the clouds of uncertainty.
Jon Jones took time off to prepare for the heavyweight division
Instances of light heavyweight fighters' successful transition to heavyweight are rare in UFC history. The 60lbs weight gap between the two divisions is the largest between any two consecutive weight classes in MMA. Even the more accomplished and bigger light heavyweights like Alexander Gustafsson could not find success against the bigger guys in recent times.
Jon Jones is one of the fighters that mixes up grappling and striking to gain an upper hand over their opponents. Unlike striking, grappling exchanges require strength parity with opponents, if not advantage
After announcing the move up to heavyweight, Jones took the time to prepare his body to compete against much stronger fighters at heavyweight. However, we will have to wait for his debut to know if gaining weight was a better-suited endeavor for him or not.