- James Johnson thinks he can beat Jon Jones after a year of training.
- Jones has never been beaten, submitted, or recorded as having been eliminated by the judges.
- Johnson, the seasoned NBA player, used to play forward for the Indiana Pacers.
NBA star James Johnson believes that to compete with UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones, he would just need to put in one intense training year.
The huge 6’7″, 250-pound basketball player, who left the Indiana Pacers earlier this year, is currently without a team, but he has made the outrageous claim that, with just a year of coaching, he could defeat a fighter whose record is often regarded as the best of all time. According to reports, Johnson holds a black belt in karate and has a perfect record in kickboxing and mixed martial arts (MMA).
Johnson claimed that throughout his senior year of high school and the first few years of college, he participated in an amateur MMA match. However, the claim is questionable given the lack of any documentation of the fights and the conflicting nature of the news reports that gave rise to the rumours.
NBA Vet James Johnson believes he can beat Jon Jones with 1 year of training— GOATmero ? (@SoldierOfRomero) September 16, 2023
NBA, you have a Bradley Martin ?
"I'm 6'8 though" pic.twitter.com/pUpIfbUsl5
It is important to take into account the possible dangers for a player who wants to pursue a full scholarship and a professional career while engaging in such risky extracurricular activities. However, he believes that improving his ground game will help him perform better in the cage against top opponents considering the prominence of karate in his family.
He expressed his admiration for Jon Jones during an episode of the NBA Rookie Life podcast with Ryan Hollins, saying, “I rock with [Jon] Jones. I would need a year [to have a fight with 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. “
He added, “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. I think I could beat him, for real. But like I said with a year of training defence – I just need ground defence. “