After more than two and a half years on the shelf, former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is ready to return according to UFC president Dana White. The last time we saw Jones in action was at UFC 247 when he successfully defended his light heavyweight title against Dominick Reyes. That was in February […]
After more than two and a half years on the shelf, former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is ready to return according to UFC president Dana White.
The last time we saw Jones in action was at UFC 247 when he successfully defended his light heavyweight title against Dominick Reyes. That was in February 2020. Following the victory, ‘Bones’ vacated the title with the intention of moving up to the heavyweight division after years of dominance at 205 pounds.
During an appearance on “The Jim Rome Show,” Dana White stated that Jones is ready for a return to the Octagon. It’s just a matter of lining up an opponent to welcome him back.
“Jon Jones is ready to go,” White said. “We’re just waiting for an opponent. It’s either going to be Francis (Ngannou), depending on how long his knee is going to take to recover, or Stipe Miocic.”
“It’s very interesting because I’m a huge believer in ring rust,” White said. “But for all the negative things you could say about Jon Jones and his personal life and things that have happened, he’s the best. He’s definitely the best of all time.”
Despite His Time Away, Jon Jones Has Stayed in The News
Despite being away from the bright lights of the UFC for the last few years, Jones has still found himself under an unsavory spotlight. In September 2021, Jones was arrested in Las Vegas and charged with misdemeanor battery domestic violence, and injuring or tampering with a vehicle. It was just another item on a laundry list of legal troubles Jones has found himself in over the past several years.
The UFC’s current heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has been out of action since his title defense at UFC 270 against Ciryl Gane. ‘The Predator’ underwent knee surgery following the bout and is slated for a late 2022/early 2023 return. Considering the very public contract dispute that Ngannou had with the UFC, it is still uncertain if that return will be in the Octagon or the squared circle.
If the UFC opts to go with Jones vs. Stipe Miocic, it would likely be to crown an interim champion, or a new undisputed champion should Ngannou opt to walk away from the promotion.
Miocic last competed in March 2021 when he lost the heavyweight title to Ngannou via a second-round knockout.
Recently retired heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury wants a boxing match against Francis Ngannou at Wembley Stadium. Fury left professional boxing following his win over Dillian Whyte earlier this year. Just minutes after his win, the promoting of a fight with Ngannou began almost immediately. Fury and Ngannou have been linked to a potential crossover…
Recently retired heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury wants a boxing match against Francis Ngannou at Wembley Stadium.
Fury left professional boxing following his win over Dillian Whyte earlier this year. Just minutes after his win, the promoting of a fight with Ngannou began almost immediately.
Fury and Ngannou have been linked to a potential crossover fight for months. Ngannou is currently recovering from knee surgery but could be ready to compete as soon as December, despite hinting at a 2023 return.
But Fury believes that he can lure Ngannou out earlier than that and book the fight at the famous Wembley Stadium in London. In a recent tweet, he made his pitch.
“Thought you wanted some smoke [Francis Ngannou],” Fury tweeted. “Let’s do a propper fight! Wembley Stadium 2022.”
“Bring it on big boy,” Fury replied. “You wouldn’t last a round me muscles [Francis Ngannou].”
Fury’s win over Whyte took place at Wembley Stadium and he’s proven he can make a booking happen there. But an obstacle could be Ngannou’s current contract status with the UFC, with the two sides being at odds for almost a full year.
Ngannou has wanted a restructuring of his current UFC deal for a while and has expressed a desire to have the Fury fight as a part of the contract. Boxing promoter Bob Arum has expressed interest in promoting the fight without the help of the UFC.
If Fury vs. Ngannou comes to fruition, it appears that it’ll likely take place in a massive setting for one of the biggest crossover fights in history.
Do you think we’ll see Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou this year?
Francis Ngannou expects to be back inside the cage at the end of this year or at the start of next. Reigning UFC Heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has remained out of action since his latest outing against Ciryl Gane at UFC 270. He extended his win streak to six with a strategic display of grappling […]
Francis Ngannou expects to be back inside the cage at the end of this year or at the start of next.
Reigning UFC Heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has remained out of action since his latest outing against Ciryl Gane at UFC 270. He extended his win streak to six with a strategic display of grappling in the bout. Ngannou would later reveal that he went into the fight with knee injuries that needed surgery and was advised against taking the match by the doctors.
Francis Ngannou could be back in December or early next year
In an interview with TMZ Sports, Francis Ngannou talked about recovering from the surgery and shared when he will likely return to action.
“It’s getting better,” Ngannou said. “Pretty good, it wasn’t easy but we’re getting there. It’s been only three months so yes, I’m still doing physical therapy. If everything goes well, I will be ready by the end of the year because it is going to be nine months. So let’s say late December or early next year.”
‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ is stuck in a deadlock with the UFC over extending his contract. He had only one fight left before the Gane bout and refused to sign a new deal, a major risk on his part that could’ve seen his stock diminish had he not come out on top of that contest.
Ngannou’s contract dispute with the UFC
During the same interview, Ngannou indicated the struggles he’s facing when dealing with the promotion. A potential matchup between Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic has been rumored for the interim title but no official confirmation has been announced yet.
Even if Ngannou heals up, the major sticking point of signing a new deal with the UFC will throw a wrench in their plans if they can’t be on the same page.
“For now, let’s fight for the situation and get everything squared up,” Ngannou said. “Then when I get close to the return we will see where the landscape is at because a lot of things can happen.”
He shared that the surgery was the construction of ACL and MCL. Ngannou has been rallying for a crossover bout with Tyson Fury and may run down his contract by sitting out for the rest of the year.
Former interim UFC Heavyweight Champion Ciryl Gane is preparing to return to the Octagon for the first time since Francis Ngannou added the opening blemish to his professional MMA record. At the January 2022 pay-per-view, tension was high as Ngannou, entering the final fight of his active deal, bet on himself in a big way….
Former interim UFC Heavyweight Champion Ciryl Gane is preparing to return to the Octagon for the first time since Francis Ngannou added the opening blemish to his professional MMA record.
At the January 2022 pay-per-view, tension was high as Ngannou, entering the final fight of his active deal, bet on himself in a big way. While initial success on the feet for Gane at UFC 270 looked to suggest that the Cameroonian was on his way to a significantly weakened position in his contractual dispute with the UFC, “The Predator” evolved.
Now, while Ngannou continues his recovery on the sidelines, Gane is set for his chance to rebound, and it could come in some style. “Bon Gamin” will headline the UFC’s French debut in September when he shares the cage with Tai Tuivasa in front of a home Parisian crowd.
While an eight-month gap between fights isn’t exactly lengthy, it represents Gane’s longest layoff from the Octagon aside a year away between 2019-2020, which saw the COVID-19 pandemic wreak havoc across the globe and prevent many international fighters from competing.
During a recent interview with MMA Junkie’s Farah Hannoun, Gane discussed his break from action. Having fought 11 times since making his professional debut in 2018, the 32-year-old was appreciative of the time off given that he’s always been in a “rush.”
“Not really (would I have liked to fight sooner). Because I knew already UFC wanted to do this in September. I was already prepared in my mind to wait for September,” said Gane. “And after (UFC 270), I had a lot of pressure, a lot of solicitation of the media, a lot of feeling with this fight with Francis, something like that.
“All my career, I was in a rush, you see? I started just four years ago, my career in MMA. I started a little (over) three years (ago) in the UFC, and it’s all I did. I was always in a rush,” Gane continued. “So, to have a few months like that, a few more months like that, this has maybe helped me to be better for my next fight.
Gane Explains How Mindset Towards Ngannou Rematch Has Changed
While Gane’s period on the sidelines has helped him to improve as a fighter ahead of his next appearance in the cage, it’s also caused an adjustment to his mindset.
But after some time away from the wild world of mixed martial arts, “Bon Gamin” has had a slight change of heart. For the Paris native, the goal is the gold, no matter who it’s in the possession of.
“I’m okay (if I never fight Francis again). There were a few months where, yeah, it was a little bit (like), ‘No, I want Francis.’ But anyway now, I just want the belt. This is my goal,” said Gane. “I just want to go to the top. No matter if it’s (Curtis) Blaydes or Stipe (Miocic) or (Jon) Jones or Francis, anyway.”