Newly-crowned UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, who captured the 265-pound title with a second-round knockout over Stipe Miocic at UFC 260, is likely to make his first title defense against former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones — assuming the promotion is willing to open its wallet.
Ngannou opened as the -190 favorite over Jones, who is currently a +165 underdog.
“This is the first time Jon Jones has been an underdog since his first two professional fights,” Adam Burns, BetOnline.ag SportsBook Manager said. “And most of his fights he has been a massive favorite. This fight, if it happens, has the potential to be the highest grossing fight of all-time. The current highest is McGregor vs Khabib.”
The last time Ngannou was a betting underdog was ahead of his Cain Velasquez fight at UFC on ESPN 1, a heavyweight collision that saw “The Predator” pop and drop the former champ early in the opening frame.
Jones hasn’t see a plus sign since challenging Stephan Bonnar at UFC 94 all the way back in Jan. 2009, a violent, three-round destruction of “The American Psycho” that promptly promoted “Bones” to betting favorite for the next 12 years.
Hopefully Jones and UFC can come to terms for a Ngannou fight later this year.