Francis Ngannou wasn’t surprised by Jon Jones’ big title victory at UFC 285 this past weekend (March 4, 2023).
Since Ngannou captured UFC Heavyweight gold in March 2021, the hope was to have him welcome former two-time Light Heavyweight kingpin, Jones, to the sport’s largest weight class. “The Predator” instead failed to successfully renegotiate his contract with the promotion, leading to his release.
Jones went on to defeat Ngannou’s last opponent, Ciryl Gane, in his place via a stunning first-round guillotine submission (watch highlights). The result has left all interested in mixed martial arts (MMA) salivating at the thought of Ngannou versus Jones, but unfortunately, it just doesn’t appear meant to be.
“A fight that I would have liked to have, but unfortunately we are not there,” Ngannou said on his YouTube channel about facing Jones (h/t MMA Fighting). “That fight didn’t happen and probably will never happen now that he’s on a very long contract with the UFC. So that’s not happening anymore.”
As soon as Jones got ahold of Gane, the fight was essentially a wrap, needing just over two minutes to find the tap. Most assumed wrestling would have been key to Jones’ victory, and for Ngannou, he knew if that was the case in his unanimous decision win (watch highlights), “Bones” likely wouldn’t struggle.
“Not very surprising, because I knew if I could outwrestle Ciryl, Jon would be another story,” Ngannou said. “He would have a hard night if Jon would lay hands on him.
“What I do know is Jon was rushing,” he continued. “Jon didn’t want to give him space because he I think he was afraid of something. Maybe of getting exhausted at some point, not be able to grab him, so he was chasing him from the first minute to grab him. He walked out pretty good, but it tells me something. He wasn’t very confident. He was rushing, which is good for him.”
For complete UFC 285 results and highlights click HERE.