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Morning Report: Francis Ngannou not thinking about Jon Jones ahead of UFC 270: ‘He says a lot of things and yet we are still here’

Francis Ngannou
Francis Ngannou

This past weekend, the last UFC pay-per-view of the year took place when Charles Oliveira successfully defended his lightweight title against Dustin Poirier at UFC 269. And with 269 now in the rear-view, all eyes turn to the next PPV event, UFC 270, which is headlined by a heavyweight title unification bout between undisputed champion Francis Ngannou and interim champion Ciryl Gane. It’s a fight with a lot of storylines in play, from the shared training sessions between the two fighters, to Ngannou’s ongoing issues with the UFC and the unrealized superfight with Jon Jones, but for the heavyweight champion all of those distractions have to be left outside the cage so he can focus on the task at hand.

“The situation is what it is, but what I’m trying to do is not let anything step into (my mind) for the fight,” Ngannou told MMA Junkie. “At the end of the day, I’m not allowed to get distracted by anything. It will be on me if I get something wrong because I’m distracted by everything around. I signed up for this fight, so I better take it seriously and focus on it. It doesn’t matter what happens on the side. We’re going to deal with that after.”

“After” is when things could get very interesting for the champion. A superfight between Ngannou and Jon Jones has long been rumored to be in the UFC’s plans and earlier this year month Jones said he was targeting a return to the cage as soon as March. Such a fight would be an enormous opportunity but given the amount of times that bout has fallen through already, Ngannou isn’t holding his breath.

“Personally, I don’t really care about that anymore,” Ngannou said. “There’s a lot of talk about Jon Jones, he says a lot of things and yet we are still here. I wasn’t even expecting fighting someone other than Jon Jones after the Stipe fight but here I am, almost 10 months away and going to fight Ciryl Gane, which wasn’t in the picture, in the landscape at that moment at all. So what Jon Jones says and what Jon Jones does are two different things and I can’t bet on that. I can’t put my money on that. So I just do what I’m gonna do. We don’t know what the future is going to hold for us.”

Instead, Ngannou is keeping his eyes on the fight that is immediately in front of him. Gane is a former training partner with an undefeated record and an accomplished Muay Thai background. His run through the top contenders in the UFC harkens back to Ngannou’s own surge up the heavyweight ranks his first time around and many are saying that Gane is going to end Ngannou’s reign before it can get off the ground properly. But the champion is confident that his experience and skill will ultimately carry the day and that he will deliver the kind of devastating knockout that fans have come to expect from him.

“Undefeated opponent doesn’t mean anything,” Ngannou said. “For me, I think undefeated just means he has a lack of experience because it’s not the full experience. Losing a fight is a learning process, as well, so if you haven’t (been) there, you can’t understand something. I think that’s the thing. I have fought undefeated fighters before, so it’s not my first time. I know how it is. You can be undefeated, but when you get in that cage it’s just you and your opponent and nothing matters at that point...

“It’s going to be a very big night between Ciryl and me, because regardless (of the situation), they’ll promote this fight pretty good. You can’t take away his talent. He’s a good guy. He’s very talented. He’s a good contender. He’s a good competitor. I am ‘The Predator.’ I am the champion. It’s a pretty good matchup and what I do know for sure is that people are going to see a good fight, probably end up with some exciting knockout. It’ll be a good fight.”

UFC 270 takes place on Jan. 22 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.


Title. Gegard Mousasi vs. Austin Vanderford booked for Bellator middleweight title fight on Feb. 25.

Beef. Colby Covington rips Dustin Poirier’s ‘quitter mentality’ at UFC 269, dares him to ‘come up to the real man’s weight class’.

KO. Tyron Woodley explains why he didn’t go for the knockout after hurting Jake Paul in first fight.

No regrets. Dominick Cruz doesn’t regret Daniel Cormier comments, just the forum where he said them.

Odds. Amanda Nunes opens as massive favorite in potential Julianna Pena rematch, Charles Oliveira holds slight edge over Justin Gaethje.

Out. Michel Prazeres no longer on UFC roster: ‘I asked to be released’.


All Access: Paul vs. Woodley II.

Bonus Resume: Derrick Lewis.

Free Fight: Cub Swanson vs. Dooho Choi. Banger.

Raush Manfio’s 2021 in the PFL.

Din Thomas nailing a Stephen A. Smith impersonation.


UFC Unfiltered. Michael Bisping and the Sklar brothers recap UFC 269.


The future.

Book it.


Main event?


Support man.

Official Climbing Machine of the UFC.


Gegard Mousasi (48-7-2) vs. Austin Vanderford (11-0); Bellator, Feb. 25.


Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



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