All-but undefeated light-heavyweight great Jon “Bones” Jones may have set his sites on a super-fight at heavyweight vs Francis Ngannou, but one man who evidently does not or at least no longer wants the fight to take place is UFC President Dana White.
White’s reluctance to sanction the fight could prove highly problematic to Bones’ aspirations of becoming the eighth combatant to have held belts in two separate weight classes.
Bones has been calling out the heavyweight champion and, thus, the baddest man alive, Ngannou, ever since the Cameroonian captured the belt at the second time of asking against Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 in March, and the pair have become engaged in a lively war of words on social media.
One of Jones’ most recent tweets read:
“Pray you knock me out because if you don’t I’m going to break you, and that’s a promise.”
Ngannou has been giving out as much as he is receiving when trading bards with the American, however. He responded to the above comment with this in a recent tweet:
“You’re a decision fighter @JonnyBones and you’ve barely won a fight lately.
But you’re going to break me out?”
Unfortunately for fans of the UFC, Dana White and Jon Jones are bang in the midst of a bitter pay dispute that could even see an end to not just any potential fight with Ngannou (or Lewis) but the former world champion’s career inside the famed UFC Octagon.
Jones already received bad news from White earlier this week when the UFC President declared that Bones wouldn’t fight the winner of the probable Francis Ngannou vs Derrick Lewis rematch.
Shortly after that first bombshell for the former UFC light heavyweight champion, White then told Jones that he was “free to never fight again” when he became irritated by reports of Jones’ expected earnings for a fight vs Ngannou.
Now White has suggested once again that he would be happy to see Jones bow out of the octagon altogether.
During an interview with TMZ Sports, Dana White was asked whether he’d moved on from Jones, responding:
Yeah, I’ve absolutely moved on
“Listen, I put on fights every Saturday. We have a window where we try to build some fights and make some things happen. If the fights don’t happen within that window, we move on.
“I’ve been saying it since the beginning, Derrick Lewis is the guy who should be getting the title shots.
“He beat Francis Ngannou. He’s next in line, he’s coming off of great performances and that’s a wrap. We’re moving on.
“There’s nothing wrong with going out on top either – Jon Jones is undefeated, he’s never been beaten.”
“For those people that don’t know, you see that one loss on his record, he didn’t lose that fight he won that fight in dominant fashion like most of his fights.
“It was a time when the Nevada Athletic Commission was at its weakest and there was a referee that shouldn’t have been in there and he stole that fight from Jon Jones.
“So, it wouldn’t be a bad thing for him to go out on top.”
Ngannou vs the Black Beast Derrick Lewis is another top fight to make; make no mistake about that: Lewis has a win over the current UFC heavyweight champion and Ngannou will want that W back, which is likely to lead to fireworks inside the Octagon – it’s a contest highly unlikely to go to the judges’ scorecards, let’s just put it like that!
But, if Dana White sticks to his word and Jones isn’t allowed to step up a weight to meet the winner, the fans lose out: we’ll forever be asking if Jones could have been a two-weight world champion.
Fingers crossed it’s just a power play from the UFC’s famously penurious President.