De Castro, a heavyweight mixed martial artist who is 2-0 since being released by the UFC last year, was recently featured on MMA Fighting’s “Trocação Franca” podcast. “The Mad Titan” shared his skepticism about Jones meeting UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in the cage due to Ngannou’s injury and Bones’ fight plans.
“The Predator” is sidelined with a knee injury and is expected to be out of action until 2023. And according to De Castro, Jones, 34, doesn’t have many fights in him, which may lead to the fighters never pairing up.
“Ngannou will be out nine months to fix his knee and then needs six more months in camp,” De Castro said via the outlet. “Jon Jones will already be 35, and Francis will be, what? I think Jones fights once or twice more. He told me he’ll fight three times and that’s it.”
However, if Jones and The Predator do lock horns, De Castro sees the bout going in Bones’ favor.
“But if he does fight [Ngannou], it’s hard to go against Jones,” he continued.
“I don’t see anyone touching the man. His wrestling is very, very, very good. His jiu-jitsu is great, he trains with Roberto Alencar at Gracie Barra. And it’s hard to touch him [on the feet]. His distance is great. I don’t think I’ve touched him once. [Laughs.] I walked forward and never touched him. He’s mean, has some techniques that are f****** great. I think he’ll put Ngannou on the ground and will with his cardio, too.”
Jones Has Been Linked to Stipe Miocic for a Heavyweight Clash in September
The last time fight fans heard anything about Jones’ UFC plans was when he tweeted that he’s planning on fighting former heavyweight king Stipe Miocic in September.
They had briefly been linked to UFC 276 in July, but according to Jones, Miocic won’t be ready to scrap until the fall.
“Stipe is saying that he will be at his absolute peak in September,” Jones tweeted on April 26. “I’m disappointed but patient, I want the heavyweight goat at his absolute best. I’ll wait until September. No excuses.”
De Castro Predicts a TKO Win for Jones Over Miocic
While talking on the podcast, De Castro predicted that should the contest happen, Jones will use his ground game to earn a TKO over Miocic.
“I think [Jones] will take him down and win by TKO,” De Castro said. “He’s been waiting two years for this. He’s walking around at 255 pounds but is so strong. And cardio will be the key. He has so much cardio. He hits pads for two hours and doesn’t slow down.
“You’re never comfortable with him in sparring. If you start to gets comfortable with the hands, he wrestles you. If you want to get up, he throws elbows and knees. Not many people can do that at heavyweight. Everybody has heavy hands, but not many people can combine with the wrestling and jiu-jitsu. And Jones’ versatility will make the difference [at heavyweight].”