Dana White is working hard to justify the UFC’s decision to let Francis Ngannou escape to free agency.
The UFC heavyweight division is the place where fighters become legends. The nickname for the UFC heavyweight champion is “The Baddest Man on the Planet” and for a good reason. Historically the athlete holding that strap is one of the best in the world and now former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is looking to be the owner of that title.
When Jones announced his intentions to move up to heavyweight many thought he would be facing Francis Ngannou. Ngannou was the champion at that time and had proven himself to be extra dangerous in the standup game. He burst onto the scene and began sending fighters to the shadow realm and quickly became a champion. Fans were excited to see the new king vs. the old king in Ngannou vs. Jones. However, those dreams surely faded when Ngannou left the UFC after failing to agree on a new contract. He is now a free agent and Jones will be facing Ciryl Gane instead.
Dana White feels fans are getting a better fight with Jones vs. Gane instead of Jones vs. Ngannou
Dana White’s job is to promote fights and sell pay-per-views. He has been accused of lacking on that front when it came to UFC 284 this weekend but now he is already jumping on the promotion train for UFC 285. He spoke on the VSiN YouTube channel about how he feels Jones fighting Gane is a better fight than if he were to fight Ngannou.
“This is a big fight for him and for Cyril Gane, you know, it’s funny because this fight at heavyweight is better than the original fight that everybody thought they were going to get with Francis,” he said. “Jon Jones was the favorite in the Francis fight and in this fight, Cyril Gane is the favorite.”
White feels that this fight could solidify Jones’ legacy in the sport. He was the light heavyweight champion for a long time but some think that his time as champ was tarnished. He was involved in several legal battles throughout his lifetime and tested positive for banned substances, all of which lead some to keep Jones off their “all-time” lists.
“For Jon Jones and his legacy, if he can go in there against Ciryl Gane, who you know, is absolutely a heavyweight but moves like a middleweight and is the favorite in the fight and Jon Jones can win this fight it’s just so huge for his legacy,” he said. “If you don’t like Jon Jones, or whatever your deal is with Jon Jones, you cannot deny if he wins his heavyweight fight that he’s the greatest of all time.”
Love him or hate him, many people are curious to see how Jones fares at heavyweight after so much time away. He took almost three years to bulk up in weight and is now ready to get back to his winning ways. However, Gane has been rising to become one of the best in Jones’ absence and will be doing all he can to stop the former champion.