While the entire MMA community is clamoring for the small chance to see a fight between Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou, UFC President Dana White doesn’t see a deal ever being done — in fact, if it did happen, White doesn’t believe it would be competitive in any way.
After an over three-year layoff, Jones returned to the octagon at UFC 285 and submitted Ciryl Gane in just over two minutes to capture the heavyweight title that was vacated by Ngannou when the former champ elected to leave the promotion. In a recent interview, White once again shut down the notion that Ngannou would return to the UFC and face Jones, and if a deal could be struck, White is confident that dream fight would look similar to the UFC 285 bout.
“I’m not interested, I tried to make that fight for two years,” White told TMZ. “He didn’t want the fight, and he left here without having another deal in place. I know how the boxing world is, but Francis didn’t want to do it. I tried to make that fight for two years.
“And let me tell you what, and a lot of other people feel this way, I think that’s exactly how the fight would’ve gone if [Ngannou] was in there [instead of Gane]. [Francis] and Ciryl had a five-round war, and if Ciryl doesn’t go for that submission, Ciryl probably wins that fight — at the end of the fifth round.”
As of now, the path is leading towards a fight between Jones and another former heavyweight champion in Stipe Miocic. Early talks seem to lead towards the fight happening in July at UFC 290, but White says that could be too soon — although, he’s not completely ruling out that timeframe.
“Here’s the thing that makes this so awesome, you have the greatest mixed martial artist of all-time facing the greatest heavyweight of all-time,” White said. “It literally doesn’t get any better than that. These are the kinds of fights you dream about making.”
Jones wants the fight with Miocic for his legacy, but with the heavyweight division being in the place that it is, White wouldn’t at all be surprised that after a fight with Miocic, Jones — despite being in the beginning stages of a new eight-fight deal — “Bones” would turn the page to the next chapter of his life.
“I wouldn’t be shocked if he fights Stipe and then retires, and doesn’t fight again,” White said.”