NBA player believes he'd only need 1 year of training to beat UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones
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An NBA star claimed he would only need one year of training to beat UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones in a fight.
Jones is widely regarded as one of the greatest mixed martial artists in history, having most recently come back from three years off to claim the UFC heavyweight championship by defeating Ciryl Gane.
Yet, speaking to former NBA star turned broadcaster Ryan Hollins, power forward James Johnson claimed on the 'NBA Rookie Life' podcast he could beat Jones should he have a year’s training.
Johnson, who has a black belt in karate and claims to be undefeated in 20 kickboxing bouts, believes he could go toe-to-toe with Jones.
He explained: "I rock with [Jon] Jones. I would need a year [to go up against Jones]. My standup game is great but what we all know about Jones is he's a collegiate wrestler - really good on the ground and that's not my forte.
"I can get on the ground, [but] to his level? I'm not there yet.
“I'd definitely need a year to work on counters and defences against it so that we can stay on our feet.”
However, Johnson insisted should he keep Jones from going to the ground he could he could come away victorious.
Johnson said: "I think I could beat him, for real. But like I said with a year of training defence --- I just need ground defence.
"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, six years old. [It's] 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."
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