In a brief interview this week, former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones expressed optimism that he will challenge Francis Ngannou for the UFC heavyweight title at some point, although he doesn’t know exactly when.
Jones (26-1), who is the number one pound-for-pound fighter on the planet according to ESPN, vacated his 205-pound championship last year in anticipation of a move to heavyweight. However, the 33-year-old has been in a contract dispute with the UFC, and even publicly requested his release from the company last month.
In a video interview posted by FightHype.com on Thursday, Jones did not offer a specific update on his situation, but was positive nonetheless.
“I think it’s going to happen,” Jones said. “I think the UFC will eventually do the right thing. This is one of the biggest fights of our generation, and it would be very sad if it didn’t happen. It would be a real tragedy. All in due time. We are patient.”
Ngannou (16-3) won the UFC championship last month after dethroning Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 by second-round knockout. He has won his last five bouts by knockout.
The UFC has another option for Ngannou’s first defense at heavyweight Derrick Lewis. The two fought a very mediocre fight in 2018. Lewis won by decision. Jones seemed to indicate that he won’t mind if the UFC goes ahead with that fight.
“Right now, I’m focusing on the things that we can control, just being in top shape,” Jones said. “I think getting in shape sells the fight even more. People want to see two Titans. Francis is already a Titan and I’m trying to become a Titan. I want to be the same size as this guy or bigger when we’re out there. [para pelear]”.
“[No hay] a side plan, a plan B. Whether I’m fighting Francis or Derrick Lewis, whether I’m Francis’ third or fourth defense of the title, I won’t really care. My goal is to be the heavyweight champion and the opponent really won’t matter. The month won’t matter. I’m just preparing myself and I believe goodwill will prevail. “
A showdown between Ngannou and Jones, who is widely considered one of the greatest fighters of all time, would likely be a box office hit for the UFC, but so far UFC president Dana White and Jones don’t seem to be in the same ballpark. page. White has hinted, publicly, that he believes Jones is essentially turning down the fight by asking for an unrealistic bag, prompting Jones to call for his freedom on social media.
For now, Jones says he believes the showdown will happen and has already started preparing for the fight.