Despite the fact that his long-awaited move to the heavyweight division and title challenge against Francis Ngannou appears to be heading for the rocks, former two-time light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones still believes the UFC will come to their senses eventually, and book him against the Cameroonian.
Involved in a rather public pay dispute with the UFC over the last two weeks following the aforenoted, Ngannou’s ascension to the throne at UFC 260 against Stipe Miocic, Jones has claimed that a paycheck in the region of eight to ten million would be “way too low” an offer to matchup with Ngannou, before detailing how it’s clear to see that UFC president, Dana White “hates” him.
During the week, reports emerged that the organization had briefly attempted to put together a heavyweight title rematch between Ngannou and past opponent, Derrick Lewis for UFC 263 on June 12th., however, the defending champion noted an issue with the timeframe for that earmarked re-run, rejecting the proposal as a result.
It remains to be seen if the UFC elects to make Ngannou vs. Lewis II or just utilize the latter as a bargaining tool in a bid to force Jones’ hand in a bout agreement, but Jones is still hopeful that the promotion will “eventually” come to the table with a sufficient financial package.
“I think it’s going to happen (a fight with Ngannou),” Jones said during a recent interview with Fight Hype. “I think the UFC eventually will do the right thing. I think this is one of the greatest fights of our generation and it would be really sad if it weren’t to happen. I believe that it will. It would be a real tragedy. It’ll happen. All in good time. We’re patient and like I said, just doing what we can do and controlling what we can control and doing our part.“
Whilst the ball appears to be out of his court, for the time being, Jones claimed that if he eventually matches with Ngannou, he plans on being larger than the Batie native, stature-wise come fight night — amid a prolonged strength and conditioning regiment undertaken since last summer.
“Right now, we’re just training,” Jones said. “We’re training and just focusing on things we can control, which is being in the best shape and I think me just getting in shape sells the fight event more. People want to see two titans and Francis (Ngannou) is already a titan and I’m trying to become a titan. I want to look like a titan. I want to be the same size as this guy if not bigger when we get out there. I’ve got a lot of work to do.“
“Hopefully the fight happens,” Jones continued. “We’ve just got to stay focused, stay training and see what the UFC is going to do on their part.“