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Who is a better matchup for Jon Jones: Stipe Miocic or Francis Ngannou?

UFC 220: Miocic v Ngannou
UFC 220: Miocic v Ngannou
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Modified 26 Mar 2021
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It is heavily rumored that Jon Jones is next in line for the winner of UFC 260's main event championship bout between Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou.

If Las Vegas oddsmakers are to be believed, it would seem Francis Ngannou has the edge to walk away from Saturday night with the strap. History, on the other hand, suggests that Stipe Miocic will retain his crown.

Either way, a matchup between Jon Jones and the winner of UFC 260's main event will surely be a blockbuster for the ages. But if we could only pick one, who would be a better opponent for Jon Jones for his heavyweight debut?

More Exciting: Jon Jones vs Francis Ngannou

They say styles make fights. And a clash between former longtime UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and rising superstar Francis Ngannou would treat fans to the ultimate clash of opposing techniques.

On the one hand, Jon Jones could dominate Francis Ngannou with his superior wrestling and grappling skills. During their first meeting, Stipe Miocic provided the blueprint for defeating Francis Ngannou–by outwrestling him for five rounds.

Granted, no one has ever replicated Stipe Miocic's game plan as Francis Ngannou hasn't lost to anyone since his five-round stinker against Derrick Lewis in 2018. But Jon Jones is easily one of the best wrestlers the sport has ever seen. It's difficult to imagine why Jon Jones wouldn't be able to pull this off.

On the other hand, Francis Ngannou's sledgehammer-like right hand could put any living creature, including elephants and rhinos, to sleep. It doesn't matter who you are, as long as you're facing Francis Ngannou, you're just one punch away from being sent to la la land.

In the past, Jon Jones had a tendency to beat his opponents at their own games. He loved to strike with strikers and grapple with grapplers.

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But against Francis Ngannou, even an all-time great like Jon Jones would have to hesitate to trade blows. Or would he? That's what makes a potential Jon Jones-Francis Ngannou fight so compelling.

More Important: Jon Jones vs Stipe Miocic

If you asked Stipe Miocic about a potential match against Jon Jones, he'd tell you that he doesn't care whether or not it happens.

“If that was my decision, I wouldn’t be fighting. I’d be a matchmaker,” he said recently at the UFC 260 press conference. “It’s great Jon Jones is moving up, you know? There are new guys in the division. A lot of new guys are coming up. Right now, my focus is on Saturday. That’s all I care about. Once I take care of business on Saturday, then we’ll look into it.”

But Stipe is virtually alone when it comes to that opinion. The MMA world would welcome a dream match between the two juggernauts.

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Jon Jones moving up to the heavyweight division would be a landmark event in UFC history. There's no one better to welcome him to the land of the giants other than arguably the greatest UFC heavyweight of all time in Stipe Miocic.

Style-wise, a showdown between two of the most well-rounded fighters in the league could make for a rather lackluster bout. Akin to Israel Adesanya vs Jan Blachowicz, two technically-sound fighters such as Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic could cancel each other out and render a fight that isn't exactly very exciting.

Indeed, the possibility of witnessing a boring fight between two of the UFC's greatest fighters is painful. But what's more painful is not being able to see it at all.

In any sport, it's rare for fans to have conclusive evidence to point to as to who the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) is. And that's exactly what a Jon Jones-Stipe Miocic superfight could provide.

As it is, there are already so many what-ifs that fans would never know the answer to and dream matches that they would never get to witness. Let's hope that Jon Jones vs Stipe Miocic won't be one of them.

Published 26 Mar 2021, 18:44 IST
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