UFC president Dana White is happy to put Jon Jones in line to fight for the heavyweight championship someday, but it looks like Jones will have to wait in line for the shot. White revealed to ESPN on Wednesday that the next UFC heavyweight title fight will be the long-awaited rematch between UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou.
“In my opinion, [Jon Jones] is the greatest of all-time, and if he wants to come back and take a shot at the heavyweight championship, I wouldn’t have a problem with that,” White said. “But he can’t just jump in front of Ngannou right now.”
Bones is in line, but The Predator is next up for Stipe Miocic 🏆 pic.twitter.com/3hWTja6Wzy
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) August 19, 2020
Jones, 33, officially vacated his UFC light heavyweight championship on Monday. Now, Jones will apparently be taking his time on his way to his desired superfight in the heavyweight division.
According to UFC Record Book, Jones holds the UFC record for most title fight wins in UFC history at 14. All those title fight wins were in the UFC’s 205-pound division.
For comparison, the record at heavyweight is six.
Jones is also ranked No. 1 on the UFC’s pound-for-pound list.
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White Had Already Said Ngannou Was ‘Next In Line’
Ngannou was already tagged by White as being “next in line” to face Miocic but some wondered whether Jones would leapfrog him after expressing interest in the megafight on social media over the weekend.
But White now confirmed that the UFC plans to make Miocic vs. Ngannou 2 the priority at heavyweight.
That isn’t exactly bad news for Jones either. It gives the fighter ample time to add more muscle to his lean frame for the move up.
Plus, the winner of the Miocic vs. Ngannou rematch would then enter the Jones fight a much bigger star. That probably nets everyone involved in the potential superfight a lot more money.
So Jones could actually benefit from waiting in line for his title shot.
Why Ngannou Makes Sense
Ngannou is one of the most terrifying and powerful fighters in UFC heavyweight history.
While the 33-year-old suffered back-to-back decision losses to Miocic and perennial contender Derrick Lewis back in 2018, “The Predator” has overcome those setbacks by delivering four dominant performances over some of the best heavyweight contenders the UFC has to offer.
Ngannou stopped the following fighters in just one round: Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velazquez, Junior dos Santos and Jairzinho Rozenstruik.
So Ngannou, aka the “Mike Tyson of MMA”, is absolutely the division’s top contender.
He deserves the next crack at the title, and even Miocic knows that.
Miocic revealed to Heavy last week that he believed Ngannou deserved another chance at the title even though the champ had already defeated him two years ago.
“He’s looking better, and he’s gotten better,” Miocic said. “He’s destroying guys.”
Now, it looks like all the most important people are onboard with Miocic vs. Ngganou 2 being the next title fight in the division.
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