UFC president Dana White is adamant Francis Ngannou will fight Derrick Lewis next instead of Jon Jones, according to ESPN.
However, the UFC chief refused to completely remove Jones from the UFC heavyweight title picture – and also put forward a new proposal for the former two-time UFC light heavyweight champion.
French-Cameroonian king Ngannou sent former champion Stipe Miocic crashing to the canvas with a vicious right hand in the second round of their rematch at UFC 260 on March 27.
Ngannou (16-3) has engaged in a back and forth with Jones (26-1, 1 NC) on Twitter for the past few months after ‘Bones’ said that he would be willing to fight ‘The Predator’, but only for the right price.
White, on the other hand, said he hasn’t heard from Jones about fighting Ngannou for the UFC heavyweight championship. He did, however, offer a potential solution, which would see Jones fighting Miocic in a potential title eliminator.
“I haven’t [spoken to Jones], but [chief business officer] Hunter Campbell has a great relationship with Jon, and I know those two have been talking,” White said to ESPN. “Listen, Jon is one of the best ever. If he wants to fight, we’ll get a fight together for him, but he’s got to want to do it.”
“[Miocic] is the heavyweight GOAT [greatest of all time],” he added. “The guy has put in the work and done all the things you need to be the heavyweight GOAT, so that’s a fact. And I don’t know. We’ll see what’s next. I like that he’s fired up and wants to fight again. Listen, we could do Jon and Stipe, too.”
This isn’t the first time that the idea of Jones against Miocic has reared its head, as the GOAT himself admitted that it would be a matchup that would interest him.
It’s also worth nothing that Miocic is still one of the top heavyweights in the world and a former Golden Gloves boxing champion and NCAA Division I wrestler. He’s no slouch and arguably just as difficult an opponent as Ngannou.
The potential superfight could be one of the biggest in the history of the company as Jones continues to pile on the pounds in preparation for his step-up in weight class to the heavyweight division.
Of course, no disrespect to Dominick Reyes, but a fight against Miocic would be an obvious step-up in competition, and it does have to be the potential to be one of the biggest that we’ve ever seen in the UFC.
However, whether that will be on the same card as Ngannou vs Lewis II or the one after that remains to be seen.