UFC heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou has claimed that former two-time light heavyweight titleholder, Jon Jones finds himself a “better battle on Twitter” than he would be inside the Octagon, amid an extended period of inactivity for the latter.
Ngannou, who headlined UFC 270 in January, managed to successfully unify the heavyweight championships with a unanimous decision win against interim titleholder, Ciryl Gane – subsequently completing his contractual obligations with the promotion to boot.
The Batie native also revealed post-fight that he will likely require surgery to address a Grade 3 MCL tear and ACL injury suffered just 25 days prior to his clash with Gane.
His manager, CAA agent, Marquel Martin then confirmed that Ngannou would undergo a surgical procedure in order to address the injury upon his return from a planned trip to Cameroon – and could possibly face up to a period of nine months on the sidelines as he recovers.
With contractual issues with the promotion rife as ever, Ngannou has confirmed he would no longer fight for the UFC for fight purses in the region of $500,000 or $600,000, with the CSAC confirming he earned a disclosed purse of $600,000 for his win over Gane last month.
The 35-year-old defending champion was then immediately linked with a championship defense against the above mentioned, Jones, who is still yet to make his long-awaited heavyweight leap, however, Ngannou believes the former light heavyweight kingpin is a “better battle on Twitter”, and maintains Jones could sit out a while longer if he really wants to fight him in the future.
“I think the first thing we have to know is if Jon Jones is going to fight or not,” Francis Ngannou said on Bruce Buffer’s podcast, IT’S TIME. “Because actually, he finds himself a better battle on Twitter than in the Octagon. The past has shown that in the heavyweight division, they can wait for a year for a title defense. We’ve been having one title defense (per year) in the heavyweight division for a long time, so I don’t think that’s the issue.” (Transcribed by MMA Fighting)
For Jones, the former light heavyweight champion has been out of action since February 2020 where he successfully defended his title with a close, debated unanimous decision win over two-time title challenger, Dominick Reyes.
Jones would then vacate the title in August of that year, with sights set on a move to the heavyweight weight class, however, expected title outings against both Ngannou, or Stipe Miocic have both failed to come to fruition amid public negotiation fallouts with the organization.