Minted as the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion last weekend at UFC 260 — Francis Ngannou has warned former two-time light heavyweight kingpin, Jon Jones to prepare for “the biggest challenge of his life” ahead of a potential blockbuster showdown between the two this summer.
Rematching two-time heavyweight titleholder, Stipe Miocic in Saturday’s main event, Cameroonian challenger, Ngannou stopped the Ohio native in the second round with a massive counter left hook, finally assuming the heavyweight throne at the second time of trying.
Afterward, Ngannou expressed his interest in a title defence against Jackson-Wink MMA staple, Jones, however, UFC president Dana White made a tongue-in-cheek comment that if he were Jones sitting at home watching the headliner, he would consider moving all the way to middleweight to avoid a matchup with Ngannou.
Taking exception to White’s comments, who also claimed that if Jones was serious about fighting Ngannou, then he should call Hunter Campbell right away and they could put that fight together, Jones expressed his displeasure with how White was promoting him — questioning why he would be fearful of Ngannou.
In an explosive Twitter storm yesterday evening, Jones tweeted and deleted a series of comments aimed at both White and the UFC, in which he claimed that the promotional leader obviously “hated” him, before asking for the UFC to let him take his business “elsewhere“.
Speaking with TMZ Sports off the back of his championship claiming effort against Miocic, Ngannou warned Jones to prepare sternly for a potential matchup — detailing how he’s not going to “play” with Jones in the Octagon like prior opponents.
“Well, my message to Jon (Jones) would be, get ready and to be serious and to put in the work because it’s going to happen, the biggest challenge of his life,” Ngannou said. “I won’t be going in there to play with him like those guys have been doing. It’s going to feel different. He can put whatever weight he wants on him, that doesn’t take anything less of my strength and my power.“
Long expected to challenge the victor of Miocic vs. Ngannou II — Jones has spent the majority of last year preparing for a move to the heavyweight ranks with a strength and conditioning regiment — as well as vacating his undisputed light heavyweight championship.
A two-time divisional kingpin, the 33-year-old scored the last defence of his light heavyweight title in the main event of UFC 247 back in February of last year, scoring a controversial unanimous decision victory over Dominick Reyes.