Francis Ngannou: ‘Jon Jones finds a better battle on Twitter than in the UFC’

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·2-min read
Francis Ngannou: ‘Jon Jones finds a better battle on Twitter than in the UFC’
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Francis Ngannou has played down the chances of a huge heavyweight clash with Jon Jones, saying the American seems more interested in trading words online than trading exchanges in the UFC.

Ngannou retained the UFC heavyweight title with a decision victory over interim champion and former teammate Ciryl Gane last month, and the French-Cameroonian is now set for knee surgery.

Jones, meanwhile, relinquished the light heavyweight belt in 2020 after retaining it with a narrow decision win over Dominick Reyes – marking the last time “Bones” competed.

Jones gave up the title to move up to heavyweight, though he has not looked particularly close to finalising a bout since then. Contract disputes and run-ins with the law have instead been more prevalent issues for the 34-year-old.

“I think the first thing we have to know is if Jon Jones is going to fight or not,” Ngannou told Bruce Buffer on the UFC announcer’s IT’S TIME podcast.

“Because actually, he finds himself a better battle on Twitter than in the Octagon.”

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (Getty Images)
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (Getty Images)

Ngannou, 35, has been involved in his own contract dispute with UFC president Dana White and has expressed an interest in a boxing match-up with WBC champion Tyson Fury.

With one fight left on his current UFC deal, Ngannou has said he will not fight for “$500,000 or $600,000” again. If his final bout in the promotion should come against Jones, however, the champion may see a bigger payday.

Ngannou suggested that he is willing to wait for Jones, and said fans likely will be as well.

“The past has shown that in the heavyweight division, they can wait for a year for a title defence,” Ngannou said.

“We’ve been having one title defence [per year] in the heavyweight division for a long time, so I don’t think that’s the issue.”

Prior to his victory over Gane in January, Ngannou last competed in March 2021, knocking out Stipe Miocic in the second round to take the heavyweight title from the American.

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