At UFC 260, Francis Ngannou (16-3) became the heavyweight champion of the world when he knocked out Stipe Miocic (20-4). After the fight was over, people immediately started talking about the potential matchup with Ngannou and Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC).
Jones is widely considered to be the greatest of all time while Ngannou is considered to be the scariest UFC heavyweight of all time. It would truly be a fun matchup where anything could happen.
However, making the fight hasn’t proved to be easy. Jones and the UFC have had some verbal back-and-forths over how much Jones should get paid for the fight. Negotiations have never had momentum and as a result, the UFC has started to move on.
Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) is the heavyweight who should be next in line all things considered. Lewis is the top heavyweight contender and holds a victory over the current heavyweight champion.
If Jones wasn’t in the picture, Lewis – Ngannou 2 would already be signed. The Black Beast talked with Ariel Helwani last week and said that August was looking great for his rematch with Francis Ngannou.
By all indicators, it appeared that the UFC was moving in that direction. However, there has been a ton of recent trash talk online between Jones and Ngannou. Perhaps the promotion might try one last time to get the Jones – Ngannou fight booked.
Please don't make me laugh 🥱!
When is the last time that you break somebody out? 🤔 https://t.co/XpFZhrVLcp
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) May 1, 2021
What will the UFC do?
Derrick Lewis is a massive fan favorite and he’s already on board to fight Ngannou. Lewis said that his part of the negotiations is done with the UFC and he’s just waiting for the next steps.
With that, the promotion has Lewis in their back pocket. With the recent online trash talk, I could definitely see the promotion going back to Jones one last time to try and get this fight done.
An interesting development before the Twitter battle started was the fact that Jones parted ways with his managers. With that, it could pave the road to the fight getting done or it could have provided another roadblock.
Time will tell, but as of now, it looks like the UFC heavyweight title will be defended in August. Lewis is ready to go and he’s told the promotion he’s down. Ngannou will likely be on board as well. I can see the promotion taking the next couple of weeks to negotiate with Jones.
If they can get Jones on board, Jones is getting the fight. However, if it starts to drag again, I can see them having a quick trigger in switching to Lewis. Expect Ngannou to defend his title in August and before May is over, we will know who he’s fighting.