Derrick Lewis is currently ranked No. 2 in the division and is on a four-fight winning streak. And “The Black Beast” revealed in a recent interview with ESPN that he’s “got the fight” with heavyweight champ Francis Ngannou. And for Jones, he’s “out of the picture.”
“I don’t even know if I can be talking about all of this,” Lewis said via BJPenn.com. “But, you know, something’s going to happen. So we’re just waiting on Francis. … I got the fight, so I’m just really waiting on Francis to pick what date that he wants to get in on. They gave him some dates … some months, and so we’re just waiting for him to respond.”
Lewis confirmed that the UFC hopes to schedule Ngannou vs. Lewis 2 in August. Ngannou and Lewis first fought in July 2018 and The Black Beast won via unanimous decision.
“August is looking real good right now, so they’re going to see what it’s like in August for him,” he said.
Looking at the division, Lewis has emphatically stamped himself as a bonafide top contender. However, due to the dominance and star power of Jones, the former 205-pound champ was poised to receive a shot at Ngannou first. But it appears that the UFC and “Bones” have not been able to come up with a suitable dollar figure for Jones, which may lead to Lewis receiving his second shot at gold.
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Jones Recently Split From His Longtime Management Firm, First Round Management
Amid Jones’ negotiations with the UFC to fight Ngannou, First Round Management announced on Twitter on April 26 that it had “parted ways” with Bones. He was with the agency for over a decade, working with them throughout his long-running reign as light heavyweight champion.
“After an 11 year journey as @JonnyBones management team, First Round Management and Bones have amicably decided to part ways,” the agency tweeted. “We are proud of him and the work we’ve done. We wish him the best going forward.”
Bones retweeted First Round Management’s tweet but has yet to comment on the split.
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CEO of First Round Management Malki Kawa Also Commented on Jones’ Departure
First Round Management CEO Malki Kawa gave his take on Jones moving on. He wrote that it had “nothing to do with his Ngannou negotiations” and that the parties all agreed that it was “just best to start over.”
“Sometimes it’s best to just walk away,” Kawa wrote on Instagram. “Glad to have repped the p4p best fighter in @jonnybones for the last 11years. No this had nothing to do with his Ngannou negotiations. Jon has been handling that negotiation on his own and has been as he wanted to speak for himself when it came to the last few fights, so no, sorry fans, you can’t blame me. We all agreed it was just best to start over. @abraham and I are working on a lot of major things at #frm and sometimes you just have to know when to say when.”