Anthony Johnson said last week he would pick Jon Jones to defeat rising star Volkan Oezdemir should they fight. Since then, Oezdemir has responded to his teammate’s prediction.
Anthony Johnson wasn’t surprised when teammate Volkan Oezdemir upset Jimi Manuwa in 42 seconds at UFC 214 last month. But that doesn’t mean he would pick the Swiss light heavyweight to dethrone pound-for-pound king Jon Jones.
“Jon is still at another level,” Johnson told The MMA Hour last week (transcription via MMAFighting.com). “… Jon, man, for sure. That’s just the reality of it. Jon would win — I know that — but Volkan is not a p-ssy. He can take a lot of punishment and keep going.”
Oezdemir isn’t offended by Johnson’s opinion. He respects Rumble, whom he trained with regularly for over a year in South Florida, and understands why the former title challenger would take Jones over him (Jones has arguably been the best fighter on the planet for years). However, he certainly doesn’t agree with Johnson’s prediction of how a fight with Jones, the current light heavyweight champion, would play out.
“I totally understand what he said about Jones in perspective to having his belt back; he is the king of the UFC — No. 1 pound-for-pound — so obviously he is suppose to destroy everybody in the world,” Oezdemir told BloodyElbow.com. “I agree that Jones is on another level in the sense of his media impact.
“However, when speaking about fighting, I totally disagree. I will knock Jones out for the first time of his UFC career. I have a profound confidence in my fighting abilities, I don’t need someone to validate me because I know I will dominate this division.”
Oezdemir and Johnson both train at Combat Club in Lantana, Florida. Though Johnson retired from mixed martial arts after a failed title bid against Daniel Cormier in April, Oezdemir said he still considers him a current teammate. Oezdemir trained with Johnson once ahead of July’s UFC 214, “No Time” added.
Oezdemir debuted in the Octagon this past February against Ovince Saint Preux as a short-notice replacement and has since racked up a 3-0 record in the organization. The No. 3-ranked 205-pound contender has won consecutive fights in under a minute, both of them betting upsets.