Francis Ngannou Optimistic That Jon Jones Fight Will Happen Before Derrick Lewis

Published 04/25/2021, 12:49 PM EDT


UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is undoubtedly the fiercest striker to grace the octagon. After his fight against Stipe Miocic, where he captured the belt, all hoped to see to a mouthwatering showdown against one of the best in the business, Jon Jones.

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Prior to the fight at UFC 260, Dana White had already announced Jones would face the winner between Ngannou and Miocic. But things started to take an ugly turn when Jones demanded a bigger paycheck to fight ‘The Predator’.

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It escalated to such a point that White recently gave his statement on Simmon’s podcast that they weren’t able to agree mutually, and possibly Derrick Lewis will face Ngannou next.

“We tried to work with Jon, and, you know, we eventually have to move on. Because realistically, in all honesty, Derrick Lewis is the guy who deserves the (Ngannou) fight … So that’s the fight that should happen and we’ll just roll and do what we do.”

Ngannou, though, seems hopeful that his fight with Jon Jones will take place soon. He said in an interview, “I still believe it’s gonna be Jon…you know…I think a fight of this caliber will take time to get done.”

He believes it may frustrate for a while, but it’s the fight to make. Ngannou added that it’s about making a statement and a legacy and this fight would serve them both.

“Jon Jones is the greatest of all time and for me looking for a legacy, it’s a win-win for both sides.”

‘The Predator’ accepts this opportunity to be once in a lifetime. “You don’t get this situation twice in your career,” he said. He concluded by saying everything should be tried to make this a possibility.

Francis Ngannou vs Jon Jones: What’s the dilemma?

‘Bones’ Jones has been very honest with his demand to fight Ngannou. He wants the big bucks. He has worked hard to jump from light heavyweight to heavyweight division. ‘Bones’ even dropped his title for the upper divisional move. But things are now looking slim for the battle between Ngannou and Jones.

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This is not the first time that pay issues have taken center stage in UFC and probably won’t be the last time either. But for a fighter like Jones, who is inarguably one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time, this dispute would surely affect his legacy.

With all said and done, a fight between Ngannou and Lewis isn’t a bad option. Lewis is one of those rare fighters to pick up a victory against ‘The Predator’. But nothing could trump the prospect of Jones vs Ngannou. As mentioned by Ngannou, this happens only once in a lifetime.

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Akshyay Srichandan Mahapatra

110 articles

Akshyay Mahapatra is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He wished to combine his passion for the UFC (that he has been following since 2008) as well as his love for writing. This motivated him to enter the world of combat sports journalism.

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