Jon Jones faces “a more difficult style matchup” in opposition to Ciryl Gane than if he had confronted Francis Ngannou on his return to the UFC.
Jones is again after a three-year hiatus since his win over Dominick Reyes in February 2020.
The 35-year-old will make his heavyweight debut in opposition to the damaging Frenchman for the vacant title in March at UFC 258.
And with the struggle materialising after Ngannou’s break up with the UFC, Cormier insists Jones’ path to turning into a two-weight champion is now tougher.
“I thought Jon vs. Francis was the biggest and my most anticipated fight because of the dangers that Francis Ngannou presents to Jon Jones with the power and everything,” stated Cormier, who broke down the struggle on his YouTube channel, reflecting on his time within the octagon with Jones, which resulted in a single defeat and a no contest.
“But let’s not go crazy and act as if Jon Jones hasn’t seen power before. He’s seen power. Nothing like the power of Ngannou, but I believe that what he has now may be a more difficult style matchup in Ciryl Gane…
“Ciryl Gane’s movement, and the way that he attacks is going to make him very difficult for Jones, because as good as Jones is, Jones isn’t a guy that moves very much. He’s very stationary and going forward. He’s long, so he uses those long range weapons to really take control of guys like me and other guys he’s fought in the octagon. But he’s not a guy that moves around and creates a ton of angles.
“A lot of straight and long range weapons… The issue is with Ciryl Gane, you’re going to have a big guy who possesses a lot of those same qualities, with the ability to move. Go back and watch Jones, he’s pretty flatfooted. Gane isn’t.”
Gane, a newcomer to MMA, having solely made his debut within the sport in 2018, additionally believes his versatile sport may cause Jones issues.
“I know I’ve got good footwork at first, I think I’m a little bit more well-rounded [than Ngannou],” Gane stated.
“I look a little bit more like Jon Jones. Yes, when you have a big guy that just wants to kill you with one punch, it’s more easier for a guy well-rounded and smart like Jon Jones to manage the situation.
“Me, also, I am not like that. I like to manage the situation. It’s going to be really good.”
Gane added that he used to look as much as Jones when growing as a fighter and considers him to be the best UFC fighter of all time.
“When I started watching this, Jon Jones was one of my favorite fighters,” Gane added.
“More when I started MMA, because I’m a fan of every sport in MMA, and when you look at a guy like Jon Jones, who’s well-rounded like this, you really appreciate it. He’s the GOAT. Look at his career.
“Today, I’m a young fighter, and I think it’s the dream of every young fighter to fight against a GOAT. This is really crazy for me.”