For several weeks, the MMA world has been hinting at a heavyweight showdown between Francis Ngannou and Jon Jones. Both fighters have discussed a potential matchup, given the right circumstances. This, of course, rests on the idea of Jon Jones moving up to heavyweight, another concept MMA fans believe is in the making. Outside of the weight, the biggest hurdle in the way is money. Combat sports is still a prize fighting industry and the fighters need to get paid.
Recently, Ngannou joined Ariel Helwani to discuss this potential matchup. In this discussion two concepts were made unequivocally clear: This fight needs to happen, and, Ngannou better see a significant paycheck for it, even though the fight only lasted 20 seconds. Helwani asked Ngannou if he’d fight for a similar payday as his recent fight with Jairzinho Rozenstruik.
“Fuck no,” Ngannou exclaimed.
“What are you talking about? No. Be clear, be sure about that. That’s not happening,” he continued.
The two later discussed the aforementioned matchup against Jones and why it needs to happen. Ngannou, is on a four fight win streak, all ending in first round KO/TKO victories. Meanwhile, Jones has teased at the notion of moving up after clearing out the light heavyweight division over the last decade. While this fight may be an MMA fan dream, there does appear to be interest from both fighters. Francis Ngannou found even himself a bit shocked at how fast this bout has gained interest.
“I didn’t think that we were going to be talking about this fight at this point,” Ngannou said.
“But I knew that it was going to happen at some point. So yes, now more than ever I believe this fight is going to happen … there is no way this fight isnt going to happen. It’s such a big fight, such a big challenge. I mean, for me, Jon is a big challenge. The fans have been so excited about this fight. I mean, if they care about fans a little bit, there is no way this fight isn’t going to happen,” he finished.
It will be interesting to watch this potential match develop over time. Jones has recently told other light heavyweights that a rematch could be up for grabs. Will Jon grant the likes of Thiago Santos and Dominick Reyes a rematch, or will he make the move to heavyweight first?