UFC president, Dana White has claimed that he is currently “hoping” that a heavyweight championship fight between undisputed champion, Francis Ngannou, and former two-time light heavyweight best, Jon Jones is a fight that comes to fruition this year, claiming that if the fight is possible to be made, the promotion will attempt to seal it.
Headlining UFC 270 just last weekend, Ngannou successfully unified the heavyweight titles with a unanimous decision win over interim champion, Ciryl Gane with a unanimous decision win.
However, the bout came as Ngannou’s final on an eight-fight deal he penned in 2017, and the Batie native has now officially completed his contractual obligations with the promotion.
Furthermore, however, the champion may be now subject to a ‘champions clause’, which would tie him to the UFC until December, or upon the completion of three more fights – whichever comes first.
At the time of publication, it is unknown if a potential ‘sunset clause’, potentially in Ngannou’s contract, which would see his entire deal with the organization lapse in January 2023, could supersede other clauses in the Cameroonian’s contract.
Ngannou’s manager and agent, Marquel Martin also confirmed this week that his client is set to undergo a surgical procedure to address a Grade 3 MCL tear and ACL injury upon his return from a planned trip to Cameroon, which may sideline him for a period of nine months.
Prior to his UFC 270 bout with Gane, Ngannou wholeheartedly maintained he would not fight for the UFC again if he was to earn a fight purse in the region of $500,000 or $600,000. And per the California State Athletic Commission, Ngannou earned a disclosed fight purse of $600,000 for Saturday’s performance against Gane.
For Jones, the Rochester native has been out of action since February 2020 where he successfully defended the light heavyweight championship with a close unanimous decision win over Dominick Reyes, before vacating the title in August of that year – with a view to a heavyweight move to pursue a title shot.
However, following the above mentioned, Ngannou’s March knockout win over Stipe Miocic, a potential fight between the new champion and Jones failed to come to fruition, amid some rather public negotiation fallouts between Jones and the UFC, as well as the former 205lbs best’s intention to prepare thoroughly for a move to the heavyweight division.
Post-UFC 270 last weekend, a second attempted pairing between Ngannou and Jones was floated by onlookers. And according to the aforenoted, White, if the organization could pit the two together this year they would attempt to do so.
“I’m hoping that (Francis Ngannou vs. Jon Jones) will be one of the big fights this year,” Dana White told Laura Sanko during a live Q&A session on ESPN+. “If we can pull that one off, we definitely will.”
Prior to UFC 270, Ngannou appeared less than interested in a potential title pairing with Jones next, voicing his displeasure at the failed attempted matching of the two last year following his rematch win over Miocic.
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