The winner of the UFC 260 heavyweight title fight between Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou was expected to fight MMA legend Jon Jones. However, following Ngannou’s win at UFC 260, Jones and the UFC seemingly reached an impasse owing to disagreements over how much Jones would be paid for the fight.
Resultantly, Jon Jones’ highly anticipated debut in the heavyweight division and his much-discussed UFC heavyweight title fight against 'The Predator' are yet to come to fruition.
Francis Ngannou was in the corner of his close friend, UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, for the latter's main event matchup at UFC 261. In an interview with BT Sport after UFC 261, Francis Ngannou was questioned regarding the ongoing rumors of his fight against Jon Jones not coming to fruition. Ngannou responded by stating –
“No, no, no. I still believe that it’s going to be Jon. You know, I think a fight of this caliber would take time to get done, even to make a deal done. And sometimes you might get frustrated, but it is the fight to make. Basically, when we are talking about making a statement and a legacy, this is the fight to make. Jon Jones is the greatest of all time. And for me, looking for a legacy, it’s a win-win for both sides. I mean, when you look about legacy – And at some point, we’re gonna call everything by his name when you look at this fight. This is the fight who doesn’t happen in many fighters’, on their lifetime, you know. We don’t get in this situation twice in your career. So, I think we’re gonna capitalize on this and try and do everything to make this fight happen. So, it’s gonna be a win, make a statement; and obviously, there’s a lot of win in this fight, even financial-wise. There’s a lot going around this fight, not to happen.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)
Additionally, Francis Ngannou noted that he truly believes he’ll emerge victorious in a fight against Jon Jones. Ngannou was then asked about the ongoing speculation regarding him possibly facing Derrick Lewis in a rematch if the Jon Jones fight doesn’t materialize. 'The Predator' insinuated that his next fight is more likely to be against Jones than Lewis.
Francis Ngannou reiterated that there’s no reason for his fight against Jon Jones to not happen. Ngannou explained that all they have to do is meet at the negotiating table and reach an agreement for the bout.
On that note, Francis Ngannou harked back to the legacy and financial appeal of his fight against Jones. The heavyweight kingpin indicated that UFC president Dana White ought to book this legacy fight between him and Jon Jones.
Francis Ngannou vs. Jon Jones is regarded as an interesting stylistic clash for both fighters
While both Francis Ngannou and Jon Jones have time and again proven to be more than capable of knocking their opponents out, it’s Ngannou who’s widely revered for his one-punch KO power. Jones is known more for his fight IQ and the accumulation of damage he inflicts upon his opponents en route to his stoppage wins.
The vast majority of MMA fans and experts consider this to be a great stylistic matchup for both fighters. The question facing Francis Ngannou is whether he can stop Jon Jones from securing takedowns and controlling him on the ground. On the other hand, Jon Jones’ biggest challenge in this fight would be to avoid Ngannou’s vaunted KO power on the feet.
Which fighter do you see emerging victorious in a potential fight between UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou and Jon Jones? Sound off in the comments.