LAS VEGAS – Francis Ngannou has no issue seeing the UFC heavyweight title he never lost up for grabs when Jon Jones makes his heavyweight debut, but is curious about which version of the former light heavyweight king will show up.
Although Ngannou is no longer in the UFC after failed negotiations with the promotion, he still has a high interest in who will claim the vacant heavyweight title in the main event of UFC 285 when Jones (26-1 MMA, 20-1 UFC) takes on former interim champion Ciryl Gane.
When Ngannou stood up for what he wanted in a new contract, Jones initially supported the former champion for standing up for sticking to his guns as he walked away from the promotion while never losing the title in the octagon. However, Jones switched up his tone recently by stating, “Francis didn’t believe in himself.”
Despite the change from Jones, Ngannou doesn’t want to be a part of any potential drama, and would rather the two remain on good terms considering they could still have a massive showdown in the future.
“Personally, I don’t have any problem with Jon Jones,” Ngannou told MMA Junkie. “I think we all know that Jon Jones has multiple personalities, and sometimes it’s even hard for him to figure out who he really is – and I don’t have nothing to do with that.
“… I think in this fight we could have been on the same side, instead of like fighting against each other, which is exactly what the system wants. You know, to divide the most, to conquer. So, I’m not really into that game. I see clearly what’s happening, I understand very well what’s happening, and I wish them all the best, you know?”
A return to the UFC for Ngannou is always a possibility. UFC president Dana White stated multiple times throughout the ordeal that he and Ngannou were on friendly terms, despite negotiations stalling and ultimately failing. However, things can change quickly in the fight game.
Ngannou is currently focused on creating a big boxing match this summer before a potential return to MMA. While he’s aware that a Jones win at UFC 284 will cause the intrigue of their potential matchup to grow, Ngannou just hopes Jones finds peace in what he wants in his career.
“I’m happy I got what I wanted,” Ngannou said. “Hopefully, they get what they want. Hopefully, he’ll end up at peace with whatever he has that changed his mind, but I’m good, man. I don’t have the time to spend on drama. I just have a beautiful future ahead of me and I’m going to be focused on that and be grateful for what life has offered me.”