In a recent turn of events, former UFC champion Francis Ngannou has broken his silence on UFC CEO Dana White’s accusations regarding the failed negotiations for a blockbuster fight against Jon Jones. White, during a press conference, asserted that efforts were made to arrange the Ngannou vs. Jones clash but were thwarted by the fighters’ unwillingness. Ngannou has now taken the opportunity to set the record straight on ‘The Last Stand Podcast.’
Ngannou clarified, “When I was around, Jon Jones wasn’t. Even three years before, we were negotiating. I was pushing so hard for Jon Jones because I knew the UFC was going to make Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic 3, the trilogy of Stipe and DC. So I wanted the Jon Jones fight, and they never brought up that conversation.” The Predator emphasized that neither he nor Jones refused the matchup; instead, it was the UFC who deemed the fight unworthy of pursuit.
Contrary to White’s claims, Ngannou revealed, “I think we both were asking for it.” The heavyweight contender shed light on the behind-the-scenes negotiations, asserting that the UFC consistently downplayed the significance of a Ngannou vs. Jones showdown.
Francis Ngannou Responds to Dana White’s Claims on Failed Jon Jones Fight Negotiations
Ngannou’s journey took an unexpected turn during contract negotiations with Dana White, where the former champion’s demands, including sponsorship rights, a fighter lawyer in negotiations, and a minimum base pay for both him and his opponent, were not met. Consequently, the inability to reach an agreement led to Ngannou’s departure from the UFC, with subsequent signing with the Professional Fighters League (PFL).
While Ngannou triumphed in his recent PFL venture against undefeated boxer Tyson Fury, Jon Jones made a successful return to the UFC, claiming the heavyweight championship by defeating Ciryl Gane. However, Jones faced an eight-month hiatus due to a pec injury, leaving fans eagerly anticipating a future clash between the two heavyweight titans.
As the heavyweight landscape evolves, fight enthusiasts remain hopeful that Francis Ngannou and Jon Jones will eventually square off in a long-awaited showdown, one that could potentially reshape the narrative of the UFC’s heavyweight division.