Fighter Backed to Hand Jon Jones His First UFC Loss in Over 12 Years

Jon Jones

Getty Jon Jones

UFC heavyweight contender Curtis Blaydes recently picked Stipe Miocic to beat Jon Jones in a potential showdown later this year.

For months, Jones and Miocic have been linked to a scrap, and both the latter and UFC president Dana White recently confirmed their interest in scheduling the bout later in 2022.

If the two former UFC champions meet inside the Octagon, Blaydes sees Miocic’s bonafide heavyweight power as a weapon that gives him an edge over the ex-light heavyweight king.

“Jon, he hasn’t shown that one-punch knockout power,” Blaydes said to MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin in a recent interview. “What he has shown, he is extremely creative. He’ll hit you with elbows, knees, teeps, all types of different stuff. Even on the ground, he’s aggressive. He’s looking for submissions. He’s looking to drop elbows. He brings a lot to the table, but the biggest thing he doesn’t have is the power. I think that’s always the equalizer.

“I would pick Stipe to win this. Just because he’s been in five-round heavyweight fights multiple times and he’s shown one-punch power when he knocked out Fabricio [Werdum], when he knocked out Alistair [Overeem]. I know that wasn’t one punch, but it was one punch that set up the finish. He’s already shown that, and he has the wrestling, he has the conditioning. I just believe he’s a smart enough fighter, he’ll be able to figure out Jon after two or three rounds. He’ll start to land. His punches are going to hurt more than the punches of a Jon Jones. That’s just what I think. I think it could go either way.”

Should Miocic topple “Bones,” it’ll be the second time ever that Jones has tasted defeat as a professional mixed martial artist. His lone loss came via disqualification to Matt Hamill in 2009 after Bones landed illegal “12-6” elbows on the grounded fighter.

Blaydes ‘Wouldn’t Be Shocked’ if Miocic Lost, However

After considering a situation where Jones utilizes his wrestling to control Miocic on the ground,  Blaydes said he “wouldn’t be shocked” if Bones leaves the cage as the winner.

“What if Jon Jones comes out and takes down Stipe and he’s on top?” Blaydes continued. “We haven’t seen Stipe on bottom. I guess we have against [Daniel Cormier], but the dimensions of ‘DC’ vs. Jon Jones are different. He’s a different guy. I think it’s going to be interesting. I would pick Stipe, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he lost either.”

Blaydes Sees Himself & Miocic as Similiar

Razor continued with his thoughts on Miocic, stating that he and the American are “the most similar” in terms of their fighting styles.

“I think stylistically we’re the most similar,” Blaydes said. “He’s a smart, technical boxer, who uses his footwork. That’s what I strive to do. This is one thing that he does that I’m looking to add into my game. He doesn’t force the takedowns. Sometimes I just force it.

“I just have it in my head, we’re going to the ground. He allows the takedowns to happen organically so it’s smoother and it doesn’t take as much energy. Me, I don’t mind spending the energy because I think it’s worth it, because once I get on top, that’s when I get to rest. But that’s something I’ve always been focusing on implementing — not telegraphing the takedowns or being so intentional about it. Just allow it to happen. That’s something I admire about his game.”

Blaydes is scheduled to meet Tom Aspinall in the UFC London headliner on Saturday. “Razor” hopes to protect his No. 4 spot while also handing the Englishman his first UFC loss.

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