When Jon Jones vacated the UFC light heavyweight title and expressed his desire to compete in the UFC’s heavyweight division, things kinda went quiet for awhile. ‘Bones’ appeared content to hang back and wait for his opportunity to get in with MMA’s big boys.
However, in recent weeks Jones has been hitting the headlines for his persistent, and often very public, campaign to fight for the UFC heavyweight title—currently being held by Francis Ngannou. During this campaign Jones has made it clear that he only wants to step into the cage opposite Ngannou for a fair amount of compensation.
That’s a perfectly reasonable request for what would be one of the more mouth-watering offerings the UFC could put together at this time. However, so far the promotion has seemed unenthusiastic when it comes to paying both Jones and Ngannou a bumper fee for a blockbuster fight. Instead, the UFC is said to be eyeing Ngannou vs. Derrick Lewis in late summer.
Jones recently spoke with Fight Hype about the situation, where he expressed confidence that a deal would be made and that we will get to see him take on ‘The Predator’ in the near future.
“I think it’s gonna happen,” said Jones (ht MMA Fighting). “I think the UFC eventually will do the right thing. I think this is one of the greatest fights of our generation and it would be really sad if it weren’t to happen. I believe that it will. It would be a real tragedy [if it didn’t happen]. It’ll happen.”
Jones added that he thought things would be sorted out “all in good time” and that, for his part, he’s remaining patient and focused on training. Part of that training, he said, is attempting to match his potential opponent when it comes to size and strength.
“We’re training and just focusing on things we can control, which is being in the best shape and I think me just getting in shape sells the fight even more. People want to see two titans and Francis is already a titan and I’m trying to become a titan. I want to look like a titan. I want to be the same size as this guy if not bigger when we get out there. I’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Jones was asked what he would do if the fight with Ngannou ultimately does not come to fruition. The former 205 lb champ made it clear that he is accepting nothing less than a drive towards the belt.
“There’s no backup plan,” he said. “Whether I’m fighting Francis for the title, whether I’m fighting Derrick Lewis for the title, whether I’m Francis’ third, fourth title defense, it won’t really matter to me. My goal is to be the heavyweight champion and the opponent really won’t matter. The month won’t matter. We’re just getting ready and believe that good will prevail.”