Jon Jones has a reason as to why the Francis Ngannou fight didn’t happen.
Ever since Ngannou became the heavyweight champ and Jones announced he was moving up to heavyweight, the hope was the fight would happen. But, after contract negotiations stalled, Ngannou was released from his deal and instead, Jones will now face Ciryl Gane at UFC 285 for the vacant belt.
Although many fans put blame on Jones for the fight not happening, ‘Bones’ believes the criticism should go to Ngannou. The former light heavyweight champ claims the offer was fair but Ngannou didn’t believe in himself and decided to opt out of fighting him.
“I don’t think I deserve any criticism. I’m here, I’m here. Francis has the opportunity to face me and he opted out of the opportunity. If anyone should be criticized, it is Francis Ngannou. If I’m correct, he was offered the biggest contract in heavyweight history. He had the opportunity to be the guy to dethrone me,” Jones said to RMC Sport. “He didn’t believe in himself, Francis didn’t believe in himself, he wasn’t willing to gamble on himself. I felt bad for the fans, I know that would’ve been a massive fight for the fans and people all around the world would’ve loved to see that event. I’m not counting it out, I could see Francis going and fighting in boxing and doing whatever he is going to do. I think he is always going to be welcomed back to the UFC. That is always going to be a big, big fight and I will be ready for him.”
Although Jon Jones puts blame on Francis Ngannou for the fight not happening, he isn’t ruling out the bout happening in the future. Perhaps Ngannou does get one boxing fight and then returns to MMA to face Jones – assuming ‘Bones’ is the heavyweight champ at the time.
But, for now, Jones is focusing on Gane and trying to cement his legacy even further by winning the heavyweight title at UFC 285.
What do you make of Jon Jones’ comments about Francis Ngannou?