‘Where Was Jones Two Years Ago?!?’

MMA News

‘Where Was Jones Two Years Ago?!?’

Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

Francis Ngannou was ready for Jon Jones as soon as the matchup became a possibility.

March 2021 saw Cameroon’s Ngannou inevitably capture Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight gold, scoring redemption against Stipe Miocic via a second-round knockout. At this point, the former two-time Light Heavyweight kingpin and all-time great, Jones, had been away from his longtime division for over a year, plotting his move up in weight.

Unfortunately, the megafight pitting Ngannou versus Jones never came to fruition. “The Predator” parted ways with the company while Jones instead took on Ciryl Gane at UFC 285 earlier this month (March 4, 2023), winning via a first-round guillotine submission (watch highlights). Since everything has unfolded surrounding Heavyweight’s peak, Ngannou has been labeled by Jones and UFC President, Dana White, as the one who ran away from the bout.

“Look, I wanted that fight as well,” Ngannou told TMZ (h/t MMA Fighting). “I’m the one that initiated that fight over two years ago. I wanted that fight, but where was Jon Jones at that time? I don’t know. Nobody seems interested, even Dana White. Nobody seems to be interested. They always find a way to go around it.

“Today, it’s not about that fight, it’s not that they wanted to give me that fight, it’s the price it was going to cost me to get that fight. I chased that fight for as long as I could and, listen, I learned in life that you have to let it go. You have to let things go, otherwise, they’ll cut your hand and take your hand away. I wanted that fight so bad, and I couldn’t have it at any cost. That’s what I will always say.”

Ngannou’s next step appears to be making his boxing dream a reality. There are no concrete opponents or dates in line as of now, but Ngannou is targeting the upcoming summer for his debut.

In the meantime, Ngannou can expect a continuation of numerous potshots from Jones and White for as long as “Bones” remains an active competitor.

“Jon is Jon, and I’m me, I don’t care,” Ngannou said. “I’ve been saying this for a little while, I am cool. I’m doing good, I did what was best for me, I’m happy. I wish that fight had happened because I feel like there’s a lot of anger, a lot of unsatisfaction on the other end — which, I don’t know — but I can’t control that. I can just control me.”