UFC President, Dana White, has shot down a co-promotion with Professional Fighters League (PFL) to book a Jones vs. Ngannou “super” fight, simply saying it “wouldn’t work.” Maybe that’s because of the “impossible” financial demands of Ngannou, and maybe because UFC refuses to co-promote. Probably both those things.
But, Ngannou’s representative, Marquel Martin, recently claimed Ngannou is more than willing to make the Jones fight a reality, and he hopes White comes around on it, too.
“I think it’s still a possibility,” Martin said in an interview with The MMA Hour. “I know sometimes, maybe, cooler heads prevail. I’m hoping that Dana somehow sees this. Like, we want to make that fight. Like, lets do that fight! The world deserves and wants to see that fight. Again, he’s one of the greatest promoters out there. We are not the ones saying no to that fight. Just know that.
Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou meet face to face…no more Twitter pic.twitter.com/0iSeO8RLxy— MMA Mania (@mmamania) June 17, 2023
“These conversations are not new,” Martin said about past attempts to book Ngannou vs. Jones. “They are two years at least in terms of talking to the UFC about making this fight happen. After Stipe, it was supposed to be Jon Jones. I tweeted something long ago, I literally wrote it down: I said Stipe, [then we’re] gonna take care of Jon Jones, then we’re gonna go for Tyson Fury. In that order. But, they had their own plans and their own strategy and for whatever reason they didn’t want to make it happen.”
As for why UFC took such a hard stance on stopping Ngannou from boxing?
“I kind of feel like it was the Conor McGregor effect,” Martin theorized. “Like, Conor made so much money from that boxing fight that they didn’t want to do it again so maybe they had some business reasons. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact reason but I do know that from our side it would have been so easy and everyone would have been happy and we’d still be with the UFC today and Dana would be promoting this fight potentially.”
“But I don’t know, I always told them, I remember telling Hunter [Campbell] ‘You have THE baddest man on the planet ... You beat the heavyweight GOAT, then the GOAT of all GOATS, then what? Go see who really is the ‘Baddest Man on the Planet.’ But I don’t think they saw it that way.”
Martin confirmed that the Fury fight wasn’t a one-and-done boxing bout for Ngannou, and that he’d probably bounce back-and-forth between mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing moving forward.
“One of many, one of many,” he said. “I suspect we’ll do this [Fury] fight, then we’ll do his PFL debut, and then probably go right back in [to boxing]. Probably go back and forth.
For those who just want to see Ngannou back in a cage, mark your calendars for January, February or March 2024.
“I would say Q1,” Marquel said regarding a timeline for Ngannou’s PFL debut. “[Opponent] TBD.”
For complete Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou news and notes click here.