Francis Ngannou did not run away from Jon Jones when he left the UFC.
The UFC heavyweight champion is known as the “Baddest Man on the Planet.” With that title comes prestige, and respect. Right now former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is holding that belt. He decided to make the move up in weight and took on Ciryl Gane in the main event of UFC 285.
When Jones decided to jump up to heavyweight he took the move very seriously. He decided to take time away from the sport to bulk up in order to be ready for the heaviest of weight classes. When he first made his announcement back in 2020, Ngannou was the champion. Many thought that these two would be on a collision course with each other but negotiation problems got in the way. Ngannou later left the UFC before Jones could make his heavyweight debut and fans were not happy about it. This seems like the one fight the fans will never see and possibly the biggest fight to have never happened.
Francis Ngannou explains that he did everything in his power to make a fight with Jon Jones happen
Ngannou was unhappy with his contract with the UFC. He tried to renegotiate with them, he wanted the freedom to try boxing and he wanted better pay, all of which was not met. This forced him to relinquish his title and leave the UFC in hopes of better opportunities elsewhere. That departure left the door open for Jones to win his heavyweight title. Ngannou is now explaining that he did everything he could in order to make the fight happen.
“I was supposed to fight Jon Jones you know but it never happened. I did everything to have that fight, didn’t just have it, but at the end I just felt like that was a bargain to keep me, make me do something that I don’t want just because I want that fight. Yes, I wanted that fight but not at any cost,” he said to ESPN. “Whether it’s in 10 years, 20 years I will be telling myself that I did everything that I could have done to have that fight and I did everything that was good for me. I can only control so much.”
Now Jones is claiming that Ngannou never really wanted the fight to begin with. He is now the heavyweight champion, Ngannou is no longer with the UFC, and Dana White has mentioned that Ngannou will not be welcomed back so it’s easy for Jones to be saying these things. Ngannou doesn’t take it too personally and knows that deep down he is not afraid of Jones.
“We know Jon Jones with his drama you know I think he’s just being dramatic. He’s been out for how long three years or something and I know I’ve been calling him,” he said. “There is not a fight on Earth that I will back down from, I don’t care, yeah I’ll go there and whatever happened, happened. This is the sport and definitely Jon Jones is not the guy, I mean he might be the best fighter ever but he’s not the guy that I’m running away from, not him. I’ll fight Jon Jones twice a month.”
Ngannou is looking to try his skills in the boxing ring. He claims he has some opportunities that he may be able to announce in a few months. He has been looking for a fight with Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua. As for Jones, he seems to have his next fight all set although on official he will be facing Stipe Miocic in July.