Kennedy, who is a former top-10 UFC middleweight, trained for years at the Jackson Wink MMA Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico, alongside ex-UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
And when speaking with The Schmo recently, Kennedy praised Jones’ abilities as a mixed martial artist.
“I don’t know [anybody] that’s ever going to beat Jon Jones,” Kennedy said. “Having trained with him and seeing the brilliance of him in the cage, him in training. He’s one of those guys that in the room, in training, in the cage, I know you’re not supposed to talk about what happens in training, but that guy punks everybody.
“He’ll look at what somebody does the best, like that’s the thing you do, and then he goes out and does it better. It’s like, it hurts. You know, I think I’m so good at something and then he goes out and does it better. And then watching how he’s able to adapt in real-time, in the fights. And change, and be flexible enough and be fluid enough to take whatever momentum somebody might have had in the moment and suck that away from them.
“And him as a heavyweight, it’s frightening.”
Kennedy then told The Schmo that “it doesn’t matter” whether Jones fights Ngannou or Gane for the heavyweight belt, “he’ll beat both of those guys in the same night,” the retired fighter said.
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Ngannou & Gane Will Unify the Title on Saturday Night at UFC 270
On Saturday night, the two top heavyweights will collide during the main event of UFC 270. It is “The Predator’s” first title defense since winning the belt in March 2021, when he knocked out Stipe Miocic at UFC 260. The 16-3 fighter is currently on a five-fight win streak, holding notable victories over former UFC heavyweight champions Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos.
On the other end, Gane became the interim heavyweight champion in August 2021 when he finished Derrick Lewis via third-round TKO at UFC 265. He holds an undefeated professional MMA record of 10-0, and he’s also beaten big names inside the Octagon, including dos Santos and Alexander Volkov.
Gane was crowned the “2021 Breakthrough Fighter of the Year” by Sherdog.
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Ngannou & Gane Trained Together in the Past
The Predator and Gane are familiar with each other, training together a few years back. According to Ngannou, the two practiced together for a total of three weeks in January 2019.
“We just spent a few sessions in three weeks, which was maybe six sessions of training,” Ngannou said via MMA Fighting. “Definitely less than eight [training sessions]. That was back in January 2019. Because after I fought Curtis Blaydes in China, I went back to Cameroon, and on Christmas, I had the Cain Velasquez fight. So I couldn’t come back to Vegas on time to set up a training camp, because the fight was in Feb. 17, so I stopped in France to train there for one month, and at the time, Ciryl was there training for his fight in TKO, I believe.
“So he left before I left; I think it was three weeks before I left to go for his fight. Then after that, by the end I think it was Feb. 3, I flew to Phoenix. I was there for two weeks before the fight. That’s it. I don’t know where you guys came from with all this friendship [and] sparring partner. Other than what I explained to you, there’s nothing else. I do believe if you ask him those questions, he’s going to approve those answers. I think regardless, he’s honest.”