Francis Ngannou refuses to rule out Jon Jones fight
‘I’ll never close the door’: Francis Ngannou refuses to rule out Jon Jones fight despite vacating his heavyweight crown earlier this year after failing to reach a contract deal with the UFC
- Francis Ngannou vacated his heavyweight crown this year and left the UFC
- He said he has never closed the door on a heavyweight clash with Jon Jones.
- Jon Jones recently became world champion after a sensational performance
Francis Ngannou has left the door ajar for a heavyweight fight with Jon Jones, although the former UFC star appeared to again blame the American for the fight that didn’t take place.
The former UFC Cameroonian-French heavyweight champion left the promotion earlier this year after failing to reach an agreement with Dana White on a new contract.
Meanwhile, Jones, considered one of the greatest boxers of all time, returned after a three-year hiatus to beat Ciryl Gane in a heavyweight clash.
‘I’ll never close the door on you [a fight with Jones]’ Ngannou said during an interview with TMZ Sports. I have tried to handle this as delicately as possible.
“I did everything in my position and in my power to try to move this fight forward, but it didn’t work,” he added.
Francis Ngannou has refused to rule out a return to the Octagon for a fight with Jon Jones
The former UFC heavyweight champion vacated his crown earlier this year after leaving the promotion.
Like I said, I never close the door, but now I’m not sure this is a discussion we can have because I feel like it’s taking a much different route as it’s getting very personal. They are upset and there is a lot of anger out there. I don’t know, I’m fine.
His comments come amid a period of acrimony between the two parties, sparked by his departure from the UFC earlier this year.
“In that contract, I’m not free,” Ngannou said in January. ‘In that contract, I am not an independent contractor. In that contract, I have no rights, I have no power.
‘I give all power to you, and I have seen in the past how you can use that power.’
Risking further acrimony, White recently said that Jones would beat Ngannou, the same way he beat Gane.
“I tried to make that fight for two years,” White said. ‘And let me tell you something: I think a lot of other people feel this way, I think that’s exactly the way [UFC 285] I would have gone if [Ngannou] was there too.
‘He and Ciryl had a five-round war. If Ciryl doesn’t go for that submission, Ciryl will probably win that fight at the end of the fifth round there.’
Jon Jones recently beat Ciryl Gane after returning to the UFC after a three-year hiatus.
Ngannou blamed the American for their fight not happening, a disappointment to many.
Ngannou himself congratulated Jones on his “great performance” in beating Gane earlier this month on his YouTube channel.
“That was a great performance from Jon. It’s not very surprising because he knew that if he could beat Ciryl, Jon would be another story,” he said.
She would have a rough night if Jon could get his hands on her. The fight that I would have liked to have, but unfortunately we are not.
“That fight didn’t happen and probably never will now that he’s on a very long contract with the UFC, so that won’t happen anymore.”