Former three-time UFC title challenger turned MMA analyst and podcast host Chael Sonnen believes a potential heavyweight matchup between Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou would be “the biggest fight” of all time. Or at least the biggest matchup in the fight industry right now.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Sonnen explained the peculiarities surrounding the potential super-fight and what would make it such a big deal for the sport of MMA as a whole.
“Jon Jones vs. Francis, I think, is the biggest fight you can put on in our industry,” Sonnen said (h/t MMA Fighting). “It’s also going to be the first fight where [two fighters] have four years of inactivity between the two of them. It’s a very peculiar situation.”
“Francis appears to be safe in that he hasn’t been stripped, [and if he has, it] hasn’t come out yet,” he added. “We’ve heard the rumor that Jones and Stipe were going to fight for an interim championship. We’ve heard a rumor that Jones and Curtis were going to fight, but that rumor went right away, but it happened, and attached to that fight was going to be an interim championship. If that were true, that would protect Francis — he’s only got so much time to get his contract worked out and his knee healed up.
“I’m just sharing with you that if he comes back and is still undisputed champion, he’s in a pretty good spot, and in fact it would be a title fight because he’s the one bringing the title. But if he gets stripped, all bets are off.”
Ngannou is currently recovering from a knee injury he suffered before his UFC 270 title victory against Ciryl Gane. As the reigning heavyweight champion, he is looking to secure a more lucrative contract with the UFC and hopes to sign a new deal with the organization in the coming year.
Jones, on the other hand, hasn’t fought since his light heavyweight title victory over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247. After the bout, he relinquished his title and announced his intention to move up to heavyweight to challenge Ngannou for the championship.
It is possible that an official fight announcement will be made in the near future, as both fighters are aiming to make a comeback this year.