Jon Jones vs. Francis Ngannou is nothing more than a pipe dream after “The Predator” signed with the PFL this past week.
There have been several incredible fantasy matchups fans have wanted to see throughout MMA history, but the argument can be made that there’s never been one bigger (literally) than Jones vs. Ngannou. After an entire decade of teasing a move to heavyweight, the reigning UFC light heavyweight kingpin Jones made the transition official after a less-than-stellar second title run from 2018 to 2020.
Jones took time away to build himself up and a lot happened during his three-year hiatus, not only in his personal life but in the MMA landscape. Primarily, Ngannou became the heavyweight champion with a thunderous knockout of his past roadblock and legendary champion Stipe Miocic, opening the floodgates for talk of him vs. Jones. Unfortunately, several business aspects and crumbled negotiations prevented the fight from happening and instead saw both men earn title victories over Ciryl Gane in their most recent appearances.
While Jones was away from active competition, he started working with some new faces for brief periods like former two-division champion Henry Cejudo. Ultimately, “Triple C” doesn’t think the fight is a big deal for “Bones’” already established legacy in the sport.
“Getting a chance to know Jon, I don’t think Jon really cares,” Cejudo said on his YouTube channel. “I don’t think Jon needs a guy like Francis Ngannou to be able to say that he is the greatest of all-time. The reality is Jon doesn’t need any of those guys.
“The guy he probably does want to beat is the greatest heavyweight of all-time, his name is Stipe Miocic. At the end of the day, people will look at the credentials, people will look at the numbers, and people will see that Stipe Miocic is the baddest heavyweight on the roster in UFC history. Numbers don’t lie. As a matter of fact, he has a win over Francis Ngannou ... a domination that he had for five rounds.”
Jones vs. Miocic appears to be the direction the promotion is headed next despite it not coming together for the originally targeted July 8 date at UFC 290. Jones has been very vocal about his reasons for wanting to fight the former two-time heavyweight titleholder, which was essentially summarized by Cejudo.
Miocic is the record-holder for most consecutive UFC heavyweight title defenses with three and most overall with four. Whenever the proud Ohian returns, he’ll end a layoff that dates back to his Ngannou rematch in March 2021.
Meanwhile, Ngannou gets set to embark on the next chapter of his career with PFL, where his MMA debut is anticipated for 2024. Outside of the cage, Cameroon’s finest will also be occupying new roles as PFL Africa chairman and seeking his professional boxing debut. In the grand scheme, Cejudo too fancies himself a businessman and entrepreneur, seeing some intriguing MMA possibilities from here on out.
“Where the hell is PFL getting all this money?” Cejudo said. “Signing Jake Paul, signing him (Ngannou), million dollar tournaments, I know Kayla Harrison’s making crazy, crazy money as a female — the most other than Ronda Rousey and maybe even more so, the most paid women’s athlete of all-time.
“Is this the start of the collaboration of Bellator vs. UFC, PFL vs. the UFC, ONE Championship vs. Bellator? Are we opening up new doors that have never truly been opened? Is Bellator, PFL, ONE Championship — even if the UFC doesn’t get involved — are they willing to kind of cross that road? There’s a lot of questions to be answered or to be asked.”
Beef. Francis Ngannou fact-checks Dana White after UFC Vegas 73 rant: ‘What is your problem with me?’
Suggestion. Michael Bisping: Conor McGregor ‘needs to get off the good stuff, get back on protein shakes and porridge’
Patience. Dana White gives update on Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler timeline
Next. Mackenzie Dern explains callout of Rose Namajunas, open to matchup with Jessica Andrade
Problems. ‘This is why people don’t watch boxing anymore’: Pros react to Devin Haney’s controversial win over Vasiliy Lomachenko
Confusion. Dana White rips Francis Ngannou, PFL over historic deal: ‘It makes no sense to me’
Caution. Sean O’Malley’s head coach: Aljamain Sterling ‘most dangerous bantamweight champion there’s ever been’
UFC Vegas 73 Post-Fight Show,
RIZIN Confessions 123.
Because why not.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Well, well, well how the turntables. pic.twitter.com/3W6iKDPwP4— Jessy Jess (@missjessyjess) May 19, 2023
Well, damn pic.twitter.com/lSR0k0g66H— MMA Mania (@mmamania) May 20, 2023
May 20, 2023
I'm ready to fight— Tyron T-Wood Woodley (@TWooodley) May 20, 2023
Don't wait for special moments, create them.. #ufc pic.twitter.com/5CtW1jyJ9C— Sergei Pavlovich (@SPavlovich13) May 21, 2023
Brutal KO by Elijah Everill at #KC39 pic.twitter.com/KcmNl9hEpV— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) May 21, 2023
Lol this shit crazy pic.twitter.com/BngHOiYqNA— KJ Crypto (@koreanjewcrypto) May 21, 2023
Arlovski not about it.
this gotta be one of the greatest crowd brawl videos of all time. pic.twitter.com/hnIXuQoxXg— MacMally (@MacMallyMMA) May 22, 2023
yall.pic.twitter.com/ixJz8RKNSK— Phil Murphy™️ (@Phil_Sports) May 21, 2023
Yo wtf hahahahaha https://t.co/zyU7yYsSJR— Chase Hooper (@chase_hooper) May 20, 2023
逆脇じゃヘッドロックでオモプラッタ極めた！ @ABEMA で視聴中 https://t.co/lvEm6Evb7X #colors pic.twitter.com/TvKjhQuNTX— お尻がメリル・ストリープ(※) (@KGB175175kgb) May 21, 2023
At just 3-1, Ayaka Watanabe has established herself as a Top 15 atomweight by first knocking out perennially ranked veterans and former champions Mina Kurobe and now Satomi "Sarami" Takano. Her loss was to the ageless pioneer Emi Fujino. She's one to watch. #Shooto0521 #Colors pic.twitter.com/spwMwGYhKY— Drake Riggs (@DrakeRiggs_) May 21, 2023
☆メインイベント（第7試合）世界女子スーパーアトム級チャンピオンシップ5分5R— Hirofumi Sugi Photographer / Lady Go！ (@_sugi2009) May 21, 2023
vs2R 2.36 TKO（ハイキック〜パウンド）
I ain’t. See you August 19th. https://t.co/Q3geeaEQEj— Sean O'Malley (@SugaSeanMMA) May 21, 2023
See you June 10 McFatty! Love me some Suga! ❤️ #WeightBullySzn pic.twitter.com/mR25d9Vgr1— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) May 22, 2023
They both are.
You are the best ! https://t.co/j1ggG8ocLc— Natalia Silva (@nataliasilvaufc) May 21, 2023
Jim Miller (35-17, 1 NC) vs. Jared Gordon (19-6, 1 NC); UFC Vegas 74, June 3
Pat Sabatini (17-4) vs. Lucas Almeida (14-1); UFC Vegas 75, June 17
Istela Nunes (6-4, 1 NC) vs. Viktoriia Dudakova (6-0); UFC Vegas 77, July 15
Said Nurmagomedov (17-3) vs. Kyler Phillips (10-2); UFC Fight Night, Aug. 5
Montserrat Conejo Ruiz (10-2) vs. Jaqueline Amorim (6-1); UFC Vegas 78, Aug. 12
Rinya Nakamura (7-0) vs. Fernie Garcia (10-3); UFC Fight Night, Aug. 26
While Cejudo’s right, I still want to see that fight, damn it.
I hope everyone had a great weekend. Thanks for reading!
Last Week’s Results:
Friday: 72% of 371 total votes answered “No” when asked, “Should Michael Chandler move to welterweight?”
Thursday: 60% of 695 total votes answered “No” when asked, “Will you purchase the first PFL PPV that Francis Ngannou debuts on?”
Wednesday: 30% of 673 total votes answered “10” when asked, “How big of a deal do you rate Ngannou’s PFL signing/deal on a scale from 1 to 10 (10 as the best)?”
Tuesday: 58% of 526 total votes answered “Neither, Dricus du Plessis could have waited and got Israel Adesanya” when asked, “Which fight between Robert Whittaker and Sean Strickland made more sense for du Plessis?” du Plessis is set to face Whittaker at UFC 290 on July 8 in Las Vegas.
Monday: 45% of 592 total votes answered “The Charles Oliveira vs. Beneil Dariush winner” when asked, “Who would you rather see face Islam Makhachev next?”
Today’s exit poll:
Does it hurt Jones’ legacy to never fight Ngannou?
This poll is closed
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