IF there’s anyone who can solve the puzzle that is Francis Ngannou, it’s Jon Jones.
With the retirement of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Jones became the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC, maybe even the world.
Jones will be a puzzle to Ngannou—he has excellent striking and ground game. He’s around 6-foot-4 with long arms and long legs. He’s neither been knocked down nor knocked out.
Ngannou is known for his submissions but he’s submitted opponents due to strikes. He’s not exactly known for grappling or wrestling but he has knockout power in both fists and I bet he punches so hard, his opponents’ ancestors will feel it.
I think the remaining obstacle will be money. Jones will want a huge payday and Ngannou, as the reigning and defending champion, will surely ask UFC President Dana White for more money.
Some say Jon Jones should fight Stipe Miocic, the former champion and arguably the greatest heavyweight ever in the UFC. It would be a dangerous fight for Jones because like him, Miocic has both stand up and ground game.
We’ll see how this all pans and plays out.
ARE there athletes who don’t want to get vaccinated? Are there teams who won’t let players play if they don’t get vaccinated?
According to the Wall Street Journal, “NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball officials say a significant percentage of players—perhaps even a majority in some leagues—have expressed concerns about taking the vaccine when it becomes available to them.”
Athletes who’ve already qualified for the Olympics raised concerns. Reuters.com says, “I have not had any athlete raise a concern specifically with me about whether the vaccines can cause a positive [doping] test,” Jon Finnoff told the news agency.
“But I have had athletes raise concerns about ‘are there any long term ramifications associated with it, if I have the vaccine, is there the potential that it will impede my performance?’”
“Part of what we are dealing with at the USOPC [US Olympic and Paralympic Committee] is really trying to educate people.
“There will likely be a mix of people who want the vaccine and a small percentage who do not.”
The article continues, “Just imagine theoretically it is one chance out of a million or one billion,” Olivier Rabin said. “We all agree there is absolutely no risk vis-a-vis anti-doping.
“When people ask me are you 100 percent sure my answer is I am fairly certain, I am 99.9 percent sure but I am not 100 percent sure. It is super, super low risk even probably a non-existent risk.”
Will vaccination impact performance?
“You receive a vaccination and you develop a little bit of fever, shivers, you don’t feel well. That can happen and that is normal for a lot of vaccines,” Rabin explained. “Like any vaccine, it would be very temporary.
“I can understand an athlete saying ‘Look I am 48 hours away from a major competition is it a good time to get the vaccine?’ I would say unless you really have to, maybe it is better to postpone by 48 or 72 hours in case you experience minor side effects.”