Jon Jones vs. Francis Ngannou may not be completely off the table if a representative for the newly crowned UFC heavyweight champion gets his way.
‘Bones’ made his triumphant return to the Octagon on Saturday night at UFC 285, scoring an impressive submission victory over top contender Ciryl Gane to capture the vacant UFC heavyweight crown. After putting away Gane in just over two minutes, Jones is now looking down the barrel of a heavyweight showdown with former two-time titleholder and general consensus heavyweight GOAT Stipe Miocic.
A win over Miocic would likely make Jones the greatest fighter of all time in the eyes of many, but there will still be one lingering question on their minds; how would Jones have fared against a monster like Francis Ngannou?
Jon Jones responds to Francis Ngannou.#UFC285 pic.twitter.com/zXxPC5yGHu
— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) March 5, 2023
We Could Still See Jon Jones vs. Francis Ngannou Inside the Octagon
UFC president Dana White recently closed the door on that possibility, claiming that Ngannou will never again appear for the promotion. That response is likely fueled by years of frustration in trying to re-sign ‘The Predator’ to a mutually-beneficial deal, but all hope may not be lost. In an interview with MMA Fighting, Jon Jones’ agent, Richard Schaefer believes he could offer a helping hand in making Jones vs. Ngannou a reality.
“I do hope that somehow, even though [UFC President] Dana [White] was very clear that [Ngannou is] never gonna come back, as they say, never is a long time,” Schaefer said. “If it makes sense for UFC from a financial point of view, I think they’ll be open to do that fight…
“This is now something which I can help, because I do have a nice relationship with people with Francis. If I could help to smooth the way and try to get that fight done and be sort of like, an intermediary, to get two sides on the same page, I’ll be happy to do that, because I do think it’s why people would want to see. I told [UFC CBO] Hunter [Campbell] and Dana that before, a year ago, I said I do believe that that fight would break pay-per-view records.”
Ngannou has left the door open on his end for a potential return, but ‘The Predator’ is currently focused on making his professional boxing debut which could come as early as this summer. Also expected to go down this summer is Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic. Both fighters have publicly agreed to the fight and it is expected to go down at UFC 290 in July as part of the promotion’s International Fight Week festivities.