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Morning Report: Francis Ngannou says Jon Jones ‘a better battle on Twitter than in the octagon’

UFC Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Induction Ceremony Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Francis Ngannou knows just as much about Jon Jones’ return as the rest of us.

Fresh off his first career title defense, a unanimous decision over Ciryl Gane at UFC 270, Ngannou has faced speculation about a potential collision with “Bones” almost from the moment he won the title in March 2021.

But since then, the former light heavyweight kingpin has found himself competing more frequently outside of the octagon, whether with the law or users on social media. And that’s why Ngannou can’t be sure Jones will be next if he signs another contract with the UFC.

“I think the first thing we have to know is if Jon Jones is going to fight or not,” Ngannou said on Bruce Buffer’s IT’S TIME podcast. “Because actually, he finds himself a better battle on Twitter than in the octagon.”

Although Ngannou came out as the victor against Gane, he didn’t come out unscathed. “The Predator” revealed in his post-fight interviews just how compromised his knee was, fighting through a torn MCL and damaged ACL in camp. A big July showdown with Jones just isn’t possible with the heavyweight champ undergoing surgery in March.

Even if Ngannou’s current issues with the UFC get resolved by or around December, when he believes his contract will expire, there’s a very real possibility he will have only one fight in 2022. It wouldn’t be anything new for the 35-year-old, however, as he’s only fought once a year dating back to 2019.

Jones, on the other hand, is coming up on the two-year mark for his most recent octagon appearance, a controversial split decision over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 on Feb. 8.

Ngannou indicated Jones can wait a little bit longer if he wants to fulfill fight fans’ dreams.

“The past has shown that in the heavyweight division, they can wait for a year for a title defense,” Ngannou said. “We’ve been having one title defense [per year] in the heavyweight division for a long time, so I don’t think that’s the issue.”


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Gabriel Benitez (22-9) vs. David Onama (8-1); UFC Vegas 47, Feb. 19

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FINAL THOUGHTS

This is Drake Riggs signing off for the day....I guest-hosted the Morning Report, and I’d like to thank everyone for reading! Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

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