A showdown between Francis Ngannou and Jon Jones stands out as one of the most significant events in UFC history that could have been made in the past three years. Former heavyweight champion Ngannou still remains undeterred in his pursuit of this monumental match.
During his appearance on episode #146 of the JRE MMA Show, Ngannou expressed his unwavering desire to face the current UFC heavyweight champion. He even suggested that the two compete in a non-title bout.
Ngannou stated, “I don’t worry about a title; the title is not what I worry about. I worry about that fight, that challenge, and I wouldn’t care if it was a fight without a title…I don’t need a UFC title…That fight [against Jon Jones] is bigger than a title.”
Both Ngannou and Jones crossed paths at a PFL event last June, setting the MMA community ablaze with speculation. Ngannou hinted that a match with Jones could materialize, contingent on UFC’s willingness to engage in cross-promotion.
Ngannou continued: “It’s [fight with Jon Jones] possible but they [UFC] have to go through the PFL now. The PFL is down for that…Maybe it will be a special fight, a special belt or something, maybe not like a UFC belt. I don’t know.”
All eyes are on Ngannou as he steps into the boxing ring with Tyson Fury next month. The outcome of this bout could potentially influence the UFC’s stance on cross-promotion with the PFL.
The showdown is set to unfold in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 28. It marks the commencement of Riyadh season, an annual celebration of sports and entertainment cherished by Saudi Arabian fans.
This clash promises to be nothing short of intriguing, as Ngannou ventures into the realm of professional boxing for the first time. While Tyson Fury is deemed the frontrunner, Ngannou’s reputation for devastating knockouts serves as a potent reminder that surprises in combat sports are not uncommon.