Reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou expected his first title defense to come against former 205-pound kingpin Jon Jones, who surrendered his division strap to change weight classes back in late 2020.
More than 16 months later and still no sign of “Bones.”
That’s why “The Predator” is no longer pursuing a fight against the longtime pound-for-pound king, which is understandable considering Jones has been talking about a move to heavyweight for nearly a decade with no forward progress.
“Personally I don’t really care about that anymore,” Ngannou told MMA Junkie. “There is a lot of talk about Jon Jones. He says a lot of things, yet we are still here. I wasn’t even expecting to fight someone other than Jon Jones after the Stipe (Miocic) fight, but here I am. It’s almost 10 months away, I’m going to fight Ciryl Gane which wasn’t in the picture, in the landscape at that moment at all.”
With Jones out of the picture, and former champion Stipe Miocic vanquished at UFC 260, Ngannou will move on to unify the straps against Ciryl Gane in the UFC 270 pay-per-view (PPV) main event next month at Honda Center in Anaheim.
“Bon Gamin” captured the substitute strap against Derrick Lewis last August.
“What Jon Jones says and what Jon Jones does is two different things and I can’t bet on that,” Ngannou continued. “I can’t put my money on that. I just do what I’m going to do and we don’t know what the future holds for us. It’s not something that I’m running against anymore.”
Jones will have his own battle this January when he goes to court to answer for this.