Speaking on his YouTube channel, the two-time UFC middleweight title challenger discussed the state of the UFC’s heavyweight division and how big of a fight Ngannou vs. Jones would be if the UFC booked it.
“Jon Jones vs. Francis, I think, is the biggest fight you can put on in our industry,” Sonnen said. “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.”
Ngannou has been out of action for almost a year following a knee injury he suffered prior to his UFC 270 title defense against Ciryl Gane. He has also gone public about issues with his contract and whether or not he will re-sign with the UFC.
Jones hasn’t competed since defeating Dominick Reyes via controversial unanimous decision at UFC 247 in February 2020 to defend — for the final time — his light heavyweight title. Since then, “Bones” has built up his body for a move to the heavyweight division in hopes of a potential blockbuster matchup with Ngannou.
With the heavyweight division in an interesting spot — especially at the top — Sonnen believes that Ngannou is in a good place if he were to ultimately re-sign with the UFC.
“Francis appears to be safe in that he hasn’t been stripped, [and if he has, it] hasn’t come out yet,” Sonnen explained. “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.”