Francis Ngannou is not thinking about a heavyweight fight with Jon Jones heading into his clash with Ciryl Gane this evening (Sat., Jan. 22, 2022) at UFC 270 live on ESPN+ PPV from inside Honda Center in Anaheim, California. In fact, “Predator” is not even interested in stepping inside of the Octagon with Jones anytime soon.
Before his matchup with Gane ever materialized Ngannou was expected to meet Jones in a massive heavyweight superfight. Ngannou had just won the title off Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 back in March 2021 and Jones was inching closer to being ready for his heavyweight debut. Contract negotiations ultimately got in the way as did issues outside of the cage so the matchup never actually took flight.
When asked about the potential Jones fight during Thursday’s pre-fight press conference (replay HERE) Ngannou seemed completely removed from the idea.
“No, I’m done with that fight,” said Ngannou. “I’ve been waiting for that fight for so long. After Stipe [Miocic], it was supposed to be Jon Jones and that never happened. I don’t know why. So I moved on.”
Ngannou, who is riding a five-fight win streak with all finishes, will have a tough challenge later tonight at UFC 270 in his matchup with Gane. “Bon Gamin” is an undefeated interim champion who possesses one of the most unique striking skill sets the heavyweight division has ever seen. If Ngannou is able to harness his punching power and stop Gane in his tracks he’ll once again strike fear into a division full of eager contenders.
Should Ngannou come out victorious and retain his UFC heavyweight title there’s really no telling who’s next. It could be Jones, but not even UFC president Dana White is confident in that matchup heading into 2022.
“I don’t feel confident saying that Jon Jones is next,” White recently told ESPN. “Not because I think he’s unreliable, it’s because I honestly don’t know what Jon Jones wants to do next. I think Jon’s going to watch this fight, and he’ll decide. Maybe he doesn’t fight at heavyweight. Maybe he goes back and tries to regain the light heavyweight championship.
“I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. After everything plays out on Saturday — there’s just so much going into this fight. It’s all part of the drama, though. It’s what makes this weekend so fun.”
What say you, Manics? If Ngannou defeats Gane will he fight Jones next? If not, who should be the next title contender in the UFC’s heavyweight division?
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