clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jon Jones ‘nervous’ during Francis Ngannou face off — ‘This wouldn’t be an easy fight like Ciryl Gane’

Interim UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones Press Conference Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

After years of back-and-forth banter, current UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones finally came face-to-face with former 265-pound titleholder Francis Ngannou during a recent PFL live event in Atlanta (see that video here).

According to Marquel Martin, Ngannou’s longtime representative, Jones was “a little bit nervous” when standing toe-to-toe with the mighty “Predator.”

“I’m telling you, Jon Jones understood that right away,” Martin said recently on The MMA Hour. “That’s why they do those faceoffs, right? They size each other up and everything. Man, I’m a big fan of Jon Jones, but you can tell that he was like, ‘Okay, this is a different beast that I’m touching.’ And Francis and I talked afterwards, we both think [Jones] was a little bit nervous. He was a little bit nervous. Oh yeah, I’m telling you.”

Ngannou relinquished his UFC title and left the promotion earlier this year before eventually signing with PFL. Jones would later battle top heavyweight contender Ciryl Gane for the vacant crown at UFC 285 and disposed of “Bon Gamin” in the opening frame.

“Not like a scared thing or whatever. But it was, you had to be there to really understand — there was respect, mutual respect,” Martin continued. “But as competitors, it’s like, ‘Oh, maybe this wouldn’t be an easy fight like a Ciryl Gane,’ from Jon Jones. That’s what I got. If I’m trying to read [Jones’] mind, he knew good and well this would not be that kind of fight.”

Ngannou is expected to box Tyson Fury later this year before making his PFL debut in early 2024. As for Jones, he’ll return at the UFC 295 pay-per-view (PPV) in New York to defend his title against former heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, no stranger to fighting Ngannou.

For much more on that upcoming fight click here.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania