During a month of MMA that was overshadowed by drug testing failures, one title challenger managed to emerge from the rubble and stake his claim at the light-heavyweight championship.
Former welterweight competitor Anthony Johnson surprised many when he knocked out Alexander Gustafsson in the opening round of their fight in Stockholm, Sweden. While the sequences of vicious combinations that lead to the finish were remarkable to behold, Johnson’s teammate Rashad Evans expected little different from his fellow Blackzilian.
In fact, the former champion believes it is only a matter of time before Johnson finishes pound-for-pound kingpin Jon Jones in similar fashion.
“The thing about Jon Jones that makes him so dynamic and probably one of the best ever is that he is able to adapt his gameplan to the guy he’s fighting, and fight him at his own game,” Evans told MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “That is something he could do against a lot of athletes that he has faced, but you can’t get punching power. You either have punching power or you don’t, and Jon does not have that sort of punching power.”
No matter what way the facts are presented, Evans’ post remains the same: Jones has never faced a puncher as powerful as Johnson, and that is a strategy he cannot mimic in his opponents.
“Now if you look to take him down, good luck. You are going to be hit before you go in. Jon is very creative, and AJ has never been in there with someone as creative a striker as Jon, but let’s be honest here, Jon can get hit. AJ’s hardest punch is the uppercut, and I think that if they start exchanging, and they will start exchanging, he’ll knock Jon out.”
To back up his claims, Evans predicted an easy night for Johnson.
“Will it be early? Ya, I’d say within the first two rounds.”
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