UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones revealed on social media that the sport’s longtime pound-for-pound king is ready to move up to the heavyweight division to face scary knockout artist Francis Ngannou.
“I have absolutely nothing else to prove as a light heavyweight,” Jones said via social media. “I’d love that big money fight right around now. Send the deal.”
Jones vs. Ngannou?
Jones believes his past performances against the best 205-pounders in the sport are evidence that the 32-year-old would be able to handle the powerfully gifted Ngannou, a fighter sometimes referred to as the “Mike Tyson of MMA.”
Yet anyone who has seen Ngannou mow down his opposition knows the 33-year-old French-Cameroonian transplant who now lives in Las Vegas might more aptly at times be compared to former WBC heavyweight boxing champion Deontay Wilder.
Look no further than the wild swings each man used throughout their combat sports careers to knock out their opponents in devastating fashion. It’s not the technical precision that some fans in each sport would prefer, but it sure is effective.
Still, Jones believes his technical superiority in the UFC’s Octagon would net him the win over Ngannou.
“Who would you guys consider the quicker and more technical striker Thiago Santos or Francis [Ngannou]?” Jones asked. “If you guys think I wouldn’t take this fight you’re insane.”
Jones Warns Ngannou: ‘I’m Not Most’
The whole thing started when Jones was watching Wednesday’s UFC Jacksonville card featuring Anthony Smith vs. Glover Teixeira. The co-main event of that UFC on ESPN+ card at Vystar Veterans Memorial Stadium was former light heavyweight contender Ovince Saint Preux in a heavyweight bout against Ben Rothwell.
It was a back-and-forth brawl that judges ultimately awarded to Rothwell via split decision, but Jones believes he’d fare much better in the new weight class than Saint Preux did.
In fact, Jones said seeing Saint Preux fight as a heavyweight had Jones envisioning his own fight in the weight class.
Ngannou saw that Jones’ tweet and responded.
In his response, Jones affirmed to Ngannou that he believes he’d be able to handle the UFC’s No. 2 ranked heavyweight contender.
“Seemed so real Francis, all that power means nothing when your hay makers are too slow,” Jones said. “I’m not most my friend.”
Jones Confident He’d Beat Ngannou
And how would Jones beat Ngannou?
Or maybe it’s better to ask how Jones might even get through the first round of the fight?
After all, since suffering two straight losses in 2018, Ngannou has reeled off four straight first-round knockouts over some fairly remarkable competition (Jair Rozenstruik, Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velasquez, and Junior Dos Santos).
Jones had an answer for that, too.
“By being myself,” Jones said.
So add Ngannou to the growing list of opponents Jones could face in his next fight. He’s the biggest, baddest and scariest heavyweight contender around, and that seems to be why Jones wants to tussle with him.