Ben Askren calls out Jon Jones after recent Francis Ngannou remarks

By Lewis Simpson - May 18, 2023

Ben Askren has an issue with the UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones following his recent remarks directed at Francis Ngannou.

Ben Askren

Following the announcement that Ngannou would sign a record-breaking deal with the PFL, Jones quickly poked jabs at the former UFC heavyweight champion. Earlier this year, Ngannou revealed he wouldn’t re-sign with the UFC and would test the waters of free agency.

Although signing an exclusive deal with the PFL, Ngannou announced he wouldn’t compete inside their cage until mid-2024, with his main focus on a ‘tune-up” boxing bout, before seeking challenges against heavyweight mainstreamers Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua.

Despite his long and continuous period of inactivity and no longer being contracted to the leading MMA organisation, Ngannou claims the throne to still being the ‘baddest motherf***er on the planet”.

Jones, who sits at the top of the UFC heavyweight division after winning the belt Ngannou vacated, took issue with the former champions’ affirmation.

Highlighting Ngannou’s PFL deal, Jones tweeted: “Calling yourself the baddest man on the planet from across the street, who does that?” with Ngannou rapidly responding back with: “Then cross the street.”

Jones insisted that Ngannou only started to make these claims once he knew the fight would never happen: “Wasn’t calling himself the worst when he was still a free agent,” Jones wrote.


Ben Askren doesn’t agree with UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones’ remarks

In a recent episode of Funky & The Champ, Askren had a serious issue with Jones’ remarks finding them massively hypocritical. Prior to Jones’s heavyweight title win over Ciryl Gane, he was out for over three years while Ngannou was actively competing and racking up victories. According to Askren, if Jones truly wanted to see who the baddest man on the planet was, he could have.

“Jon chose to be inactive for three years. He chose not to fight.” Askren told Daniel Cormier.

Askren did stress that Jones has the claim to the title given his incredible resume but feels he has no right to question Ngannou after not throwing his name in the hat when Ngannou was active in the UFC.

“Jon has a good argument with it, but Francis went out winning six in a row. So, he beat Curtis Blaydes, Cain, JDS, Rozenstruik, Miocic, and Gane in his last six fights in the UFC. Of which Jon was able to be fighting during that time. He chose not to. He chose not to be active. That’s his choice, I don’t care, but Jon could of at any point. I think his last fight was in February 2020. At any point during the next two and a half to three years, he could have said Francis, I want a piece of you. You’re in the UFC, I’m in the UFC, let’s do this right now, and he chose not to, so now Francis leaves as the champion winning six in a row, I think he can claim that title.”

Do you agree with Ben Askren and his take on the situation? Let us know in the comments!

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Ben Askren Francis Ngannou Jon Jones UFC