Demetrious Johnson Stands by His Opinion on Joshua vs. Ngannou in MMA

“Johnson: Joshua wins over Ngannou in MMA”

Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson has not wavered in his controversial opinion that Anthony Joshua would defeat Francis Ngannou in an MMA fight. Despite heavy criticism, Johnson remains firm in his belief, arguing that Joshua’s athleticism and boxing skills would give him the edge over Ngannou.

The Original Encounter

In March, Anthony Joshua knocked out Francis Ngannou in a high-profile boxing match dubbed “Knockout Chaos.” The bout, which took place in Saudi Arabia, saw Joshua dominate Ngannou, leading to a second-round knockout. The match’s outcome sparked Johnson’s initial claim that Joshua could replicate his success in an MMA setting.

Johnson’s Analysis

During a recent appearance on “The MMA Hour,” Johnson elaborated on his stance:

“It’s not like Francis is some world-class kickboxer,” Johnson said. “You look at all Francis fights, he does have some submission wins, he does have some where he takes somebody down. But if I can take a guy like Anthony Joshua, who is an athletic specimen, who understands range and distance, and I train him for six months — six months — to defend a takedown, check the leg kick, and just box. You’re not going to have 16-ounce gloves. The distance doesn’t change at all… So if I can take somebody who is athletic, which, Anthony Joshua is athletic, it’s an easy fight.”

Johnson, a former UFC flyweight champion, emphasized that Ngannou’s style would play into Joshua’s strengths. He pointed out that while Ngannou has some grappling skills, his primary weapon is his striking, which Joshua is better equipped to handle due to his superior boxing technique.


Comparing Matchups

Johnson also compared how Joshua might fare against other MMA heavyweights:

“Now, here’s the flip side: How would it go against Anthony Joshua vs. Jon Jones? Different animal,” Johnson said. “Jon Jones would go out there and force the clinch. He would go out there and force the wrestling exchange. Maybe Francis Ngannou would do that, but I don’t think Francis would do that. From the years I’ve seen him fight, that’s how I view that fight. I’m not saying Francis is going to get destroyed, but I do believe [Joshua] has a chance of beating him, because he just knocked him the f*ck out in a boxing match!”

Ngannou’s Strengths and Weaknesses

Ngannou’s head coach, Eric Nicksick, acknowledged Johnson’s points, admitting that they would need a different approach for an MMA fight. Nicksick noted:

“There were things I think we needed to do better. So if this was an MMA fight, what did we see anecdotally that would have changed that same outcome if it was in MMA? We would have gotten slept, whether it was four-ounce gloves or not.”

Nicksick highlighted the necessity of integrating MMA-specific strategies, such as level changes and leg kicks, to counteract Joshua’s boxing skills. He emphasized the importance of exploiting the differences in the two sports to gain an advantage over a primarily boxing-trained athlete like Joshua.

The Broader Context

Ngannou, who left the UFC and signed with the Professional Fighters League in 2023, has faced challenges in the boxing ring. Following a split decision loss to Tyson Fury, Ngannou’s defeat against Joshua has further fueled debates about his transition between combat sports. Johnson’s comments have added another layer to this ongoing discussion, sparking curiosity and speculation among fans and analysts alike.

While it remains unlikely that Joshua will step into the MMA cage, the debate over how such a fight would unfold continues to captivate the combat sports community.


Yahoo Sports


▶️ Follow us on Youtube for the best & latest MMA content ▶️
Anthony JoshuaDemetrious JohnsonFrancis NgannouLatest newsMMA