Demetrious Johnson believes that a fight between him and Jon Jones at light heavyweight in an alternate universe would make for an interesting fight and be the toughest test Jones has ever had.
It may be hard for some fans to imagine, but there once was a time when there were no weight restrictions and Jon Jones and Demetrious Johnson could have actually fought…and not in some unsanctioned bout or a special attraction overseas, but they could have literally fought right in the UFC. But ever since weight classes were adopted in 1997, such matchups became harder to visualize and increasingly barbaric to the imagination.
But now, imagine if Demetrious Johnson was somehow a light heavyweight. How would a fight between Johnson and Jones look then? The former UFC flyweight champion shared his thoughts on the matter recently.
“…If I were Jon Jones’ size, I would probably fuck him up,” Johnson said in a recent interview with ESPN. “I know mentally, and physically, and skillfully, I would push him. I pushed people before, and I know I would push him.”
The above remarks from Johnson were particularly interesting considering the fact that Johnson recently declared Jon Jones to be the greatest of all time on his list. When pressed on the possible contradiction, Johnson clarified that he was not certain that he’d be victorious, only that he’d give Jones the fight of his life.
“I said I would go out there and push him. That doesn’t mean I’m gonna win the fight,” Johnson clarified. “I’m saying that if I were the same size as him and I have all the attributes that I have now: my mental capacity, my discipline, my skill set, I know I would go in there, and I would push him.”
Demetrious Johnson would go on to elaborate that by “push,” he means never stop attacking with a full arsenal, which includes both grappling and striking.
“He just came out in an interview and said that he never felt like he was in danger when he fought his recent opponents, right? It’s because I feel like nobody went after him,” Johnson said. “Like, no, I’m gonna fuckin’ push you. We’re gonna stand up. I’m gonna wrestle you. I’m gonna grapple you. I can do all those things.”
Demetrious Johnson would then compare himself to Jon Jones’s most recent opponent, Dominick Reyes, citing Reyes’s lack of a wrestling threat preventing him from delivering a holistic attack to Jones. Contrastingly, a diversified, high-level skill set is precisely what Johnson is known for and why some to this day put Johnson #1 as the greatest of all time. And it is this skill set that Johnson believes would give Jon Jones all that he could handle with all things being equal.
How do you think a fight would go between Jon Jones and Demetrious Johnson if they were the same size?