UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou poured cold water on any thoughts of him facing pound-for-pound great Jon Jones, saying that he has moved on from any plans to face the former light-heavyweight champion.
Jones relinquished his 205-pound strap and announced his move up to heavyweight in early 2020, but has yet to set foot in the octagon in his new weight class.
After Ngannou knocked out Stipe Miocic to capture the heavyweight strap, all signs seemed to be pointing toward a titanic clash between newly-crowned champion Ngannou and the man many consider to be the greatest fighter of all time.
However, speaking to reporters at the UFC 270 pre-fight press conference in Anaheim, California, Ngannou said he was tired of waiting for Jones, and dismissed talk of a bout between the pair.
When asked directly about the potential matchup, Ngannou replied, “No, I’m done with that fight.
“I’ve been waiting for that fight for so long. After (I defeated) Stipe it was supposed to be Jon Jones and that never happened. I don’t know why. So I moved on.”
Ngannou faces interim champion Ciryl Gane in a heavyweight title unification bout on Saturday night at UFC 270, and UFC president Dana White also seemed equally as unconvinced about Jones facing the winner later this year.
Speaking to ESPN on Thursday, White said, “I don’t feel confident saying that Jon Jones is next.
“Not because I think he’s unreliable, it’s because I honestly don’t know what Jon Jones wants to do next.”
White continued, suggesting that Jones would make his next move based on the identity of the winner of Saturday night’s fight.
“I think Jon’s going to watch this fight, and he’ll decide,” he offered.
“Maybe he doesn’t fight at heavyweight. Maybe he goes back and tries to regain the light heavyweight championship.
“I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. After everything plays out on Saturday — there’s just so much going into this fight. It’s all part of the drama, though. It’s what makes this weekend so fun.”