clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Jon Jones says UFC ‘was unwilling to pay more’ for Francis Ngannou fight

New, comments

The light heavyweight champ claims he was in talks with the UFC about a super showdown with heavyweight sensation Francis Ngannou.

Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou have been going back-and-forth on Twitter in recent days, with Jones seemingly pursuing a move up to heavyweight to take on perhaps the single scariest knockout artist in all of MMA. Fans are certainly interested and obviously don’t care that a belt wouldn’t be on the line, but will it actually become reality soon?

If you’re to believe the UFC’s reigning light heavyweight champion, it looks like negotiations have hit a snag. Jones made a series of tweets claiming that the UFC didn’t want to give him more money for the Ngannou fight, and then followed it up with suggesting that he won’t return to action any time soon.

Knowing Jones’ history of deleting tweets, you can view them in two blocks by clicking here and here.

Jones (26-1, 1 NC) narrowly defeated Dominick Reyes by unanimous decision at UFC 247 to retain his 205 lbs crown. It was his second consecutive close shave, having edged out Thiago Santos at UFC 239. Jan Blachowicz figures to be the next light heavyweight defense for Jones, who won’t receive any additional punishment from the UFC following his March arrest for DWI.

Ngannou (15-3) is coming off a sensational 20-second KO of Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC 249. His four-fight winning streak has seen him knock all of his foes out in under three combined minutes. You would think a title shot versus the Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier trilogy winner would be next up, but there is some uncertainty as to if or when that fight will happen.

As such, it looks as if we’ve been treated to Jones engaging in a public negotiating battle with the UFC. Asked at last Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 8 post-fight press conference, Dana White was skeptical that these two actually wanted to fight each other.

It’s worth keeping in mind that Jones has been teasing a heavyweight move for a big fight since 2013, back when Cain Velasquez was champion. We’re in 2020 and this still has yet to materialized, although maybe this time Jon really really really means it, and just wants the UFC to pay up.