Jon Jones was keeping a keen eye on the UFC 260 headliner between heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and challenger Francis Ngannou in their long-awaited rematch.
Ngannou dethroned Miocic with a devastating second-round knockout to become the UFC’s heavyweight king and Jones immediately took to Twitter to insert himself into the title picture.
Show me the money
— BONY (@JonnyBones) March 28, 2021
Likewise, Ngannou himself essentially confirmed he will be facing Jones next in his interview with UFC co-commentator Joe Rogan after his triumph over Miocic.
However, UFC President Dana White seemed to pour cold water on the idea of Jones fight Ngannou next.
“If I’m Jon Jones and I’m home watching this fight, I start moving to 185,” White said in the UFC 260 post-fight press conference. “Listen, I could sit here all day and [ask] you, ‘What’s ‘Show me the money” mean?’ I tell you guys this all the time: You can say you want to fight somebody, but do you really want to?”
Jones, of course, took issue with this. “Go to 185? I didn’t gain all this weight for no reason,” Jones posted on Twitter, before saying: “If anyone is wondering if I really want to fight, the answer is yes. I also really want to get paid.
“I quit the light heavyweight division, literally gained a massive amount of weight. And now people are saying I’m afraid? Everyone but me claiming that I’m afraid. All I asked was to get paid.”
I quit the light heavyweight division, literally gained a massive amount of weight. And now people are saying I’m afraid? Everyone but me claiming that I’m afraid. All I asked was to get paid.
— BONY (@JonnyBones) March 28, 2021
“Bones” relinquished his UFC light heavyweight championship last year in a bid to gain weight properly and move up to the heavyweight division in an attempt to become a two-division champion.
White and Jones had a public spat last year when Jones said he would like to be paid more for moving up to heavyweight and that battle appears it is continuing.
Derrick Lewis is the man White deems to be the fight that makes the most sense for Ngannou next. This would be another rematch for the Cameroonian powerhouse – he lost their first contest by decision after a timid performance that led to the fight becoming three rounds of stalemate.
Though, White didn’t close the door on an Ngannou – Jones entirely. He said if the latter was serious about it, he should call UFC Executive Vice President Hunter Campbell to get the bout made.
“Call Hunter [Campbell] right now. We can make that fight tonight, Jon,” White said in the press conference. “Call Hunter right now. Derrick Lewis is the fight to make, but if Jon Jones really wants that fight…
“It’s one thing to go out and tweet and say you want it and ‘I put on the weight and did this and that.’ Do you want the fight? I promise you, we can call Derrick Lewis or one of these other heavyweights and they want the fight.
“If Jon Jones really wants the fight, Jon Jones knows he can get the fight. All he’s got to do is call and do it. I said, it’s easy to say you want the fight, but if you really want the fight. Francis Ngannou is the heavyweight champion of the world right now. All he’s got to do is pick up the phone and call Hunter and we can get the deal done.”
Jones and Ngannou want to fight each other. The fans want to see it. This matchup undoubtedly makes the most sense.
Any talk about Lewis getting the Ngannou title shot over Jones could be some early negotiation tactics from White, but let’s hope this fight comes to fruition this summer as outlined in his post-fight interview.