While Francis Ngannou defended his UFC heavyweight title against interim champion Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 in mid-January, one man who was taking a keen interest in the fight was former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
If this is the Apex of heavyweight fighting, I’m excited about it. Got some more records to break— BONY (@JonnyBones) January 23, 2022
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Ngannou vs Jones Odds
This fight is far from being signed, sealed and delivered as the champ is contemplating surgery, sitting out the rest of the year – which would end his contract – and then moving on to boxing.
If the fight is to occur, though, online sportsbook BetOnline Sportsbook has Ngannou vs Jones odds with the current champion, Ngannou, as the -220 favorite and the former light heavyweight champ, Jones, coming back as a +180 underdog. This means you would have to bet $220 to profit $100 on a Ngannou victory while a $100 bet on Jones would profit you $180.
Odds as of January 25 at BetOnline Sportsbook
Looking at the Ngannou vs Jones odds, our sports betting calculator tells us that Ngannou’s -220 betting line represents an implied win probability of 68.75 percent while Jones’ +180 odds have an implied win probability of 35.71 percent.
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Jones vs Ngannou Odds Analysis
Jon Jones as an underdog? You have to go back more than a decade to January 31, 2009, to find the last time that Bones had a plus sign next to his odds. Over 22 career fights in the UFC, Jones has been an underdog twice, in his debut against Andre Gusmao and in the fight I mentioned above, his second vs Stephan Bonnar – if we only knew then what we know now.
Should Ngannou Be Favored?
“The Predator” showed in his victory over Gane to retain the UFC heavyweight title at UFC 270 that he is constantly improving. We all know about the devastating knockout power that he possesses, with 12 of his 17 pro wins coming in that fashion. However, in his most recent appearance, he was patient, securing four takedowns – three more than his previous best – and winning his first decision.
Those improvements are the reason he is the betting favorite but we also learned in the post-fight press conference that Ngannou is dealing with some knee injuries that may require surgery. If he undergoes a procedure, it could hurt his movement, explosiveness and ultimately his power.
Ngannou vs Jones Preview
It is absolutely no secret what Ngannou’s game plan would be heading into this fight: move forward and look to knock Jones out. This has been his approach in nearly all of his professional fights. One thing that was apparent in the Gane victory was that Ngannou struggled to hit his opponent, getting outstruck 63-43, which was just the third time he has been outstruck.
His strength and weight was the difference-maker in that UFC 270 main event – when Ngannou got hold of Gane, he could take him down with ease and remain on top. Would Francis need to hold Jon down for five rounds to win the fight?
How Will Jones Look At Heavyweight?
From all accounts, Jones has been handling notable heavyweights in the training room for years while he was the light heavyweight champ. Now, adding on some muscle should help in power and in his grappling, but could it slow him down?
Like him or not, “Bones” has an incredible fight IQ and that in combination with the longest reach in the UFC makes him a difficult opponent for anyone. What makes him a major threat to win this fight is his conditioning. Jones has no problem pushing the pace for 25 hard minutes and I think that’s the X factor. If he can survive the first round, he likely wins this fight.
Ngannou vs Jones Pick
Watching the Ngannou vs Gane fight at UFC 270, all I could think about was how Jones would fare against the winner. My takeaway: He’d beat them both. Against Gane, Ngannou was completely fooled on the feet, an area in which he excels. Jones would have a reach advantage over Ngannou, along with better speed and overall fight IQ.
Add in that Jones stuffs 95 percent of takedown attempts even against former Olympian Daniel Cormier and also secures 1.85 takedowns himself. I think he beats Ngannou easily if he gets past the first three minutes of the first round.
Prediction: Jon Jones (+180) via decision
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