While it wasn’t surprising to see Jon Jones
weigh in on the UFC 270 headliner via social media, reigning
heavyweight king Francis
Ngannou isn’t holding his breath regarding a potential fight
with the former 205-pound champion.
“If this is the Apex of heavyweight fighting, I’m excited about
it,” Jones wrote following Ngannou’s unanimous decision win over
Gane on Jan. 22. “Got some more records to break.”
If this is the Apex of heavyweight fighting,
I’m excited about it. Got some more records to break
— BONY (@JonnyBones)
January 23, 2022
Jones, of course, hasn’t fought since February 2020, when he edged
Reyes in a light heavyweight title defense at UFC 247. In the
meantime, “Bones” has often mused about his long-awaited
heavyweight debut, but thus far, nothing has come to fruition.
That fact isn’t lost on Ngannou, who has been linked to a
mega-fight with Jones since before he won the heavyweight title.
“The Predator” is skeptical that a date with Jones in the Octagon
will ever arrive.
“I think the first thing we have to know is if Jon Jones is
going to fight or not,” Ngannou said on « IT’S TIME » with
Bruce Buffer podcast. “Because actually, he finds himself a
better battle on Twitter than in the Octagon.”
Ngannou’s own status with the Las Vegas-based promotion remains in
question, as he fought out his existing contract at UFC 270 and
seems willing to wait out the next year until his champion’s clause
expires. Even if he comes to terms with the UFC, Ngannou is
expected to be sidelined for a lenghty period of time as he
recovers from knee surgery.
After fighting just once per year for the past three years, Ngannou
is well aware that the heavyweight division can be on hold for
significant periods of time. At least in that regard, the wait
won’t be an issue for a hypothetical Ngannou-Jones showdown.
“The past has shown that in the heavyweight division, they can wait
for a year for a title defense,” Ngannou said. “We’ve been having
one title defense [per year] in the heavyweight division for a long
time, so I don’t think that’s the issue.”