Could Gane – Lewis at UFC 265 ultimately lead to Jon Jones – Francis Ngannou?

UFC, Jon Jones

Earlier this week we learned that UFC 265 would be headlined by Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) and Ciryl Gane (9-0). The PPV headliner will take place in Lewis’ hometown of Houston, Texas and the interim heavyweight title will be on the line.

The decision to create an interim heavyweight title at UFC 265 was perplexing. Mass confusion fell upon the MMA community due to the fact that Francis Ngannou (16-3) just won the heavyweight title back in March.

Ngannou has been on vacation and told the UFC he’d be ready to fight Derrick Lewis for the undisputed title in September. However, the promotion needed a main event for August 7th. Their solution was to book Lewis in an interim title fight.

Now, this leaves the undisputed heavyweight champion without a fight. The UFC has said that Gane and Lewis are fighting for the interim title because they are the two most deserving contenders and they are ready to fight on August 7th. Again, doesn’t make a ton of sense, but that’s their story.

However, there could be a silver lining here for all parties involved. Perhaps the UFC can now put together the fight that fans wanted to see all along. Maybe it’s time for the promotion to revisit the superfight between Ngannou and Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC).

Will the UFC try to make Ngannou – Jones happen?

Let’s rewind time back to just before UFC 260 where Ngannou defeated Stipe Miocic. The storyline leading up to the fight was that Jon Jones would be moving up to heavyweight and would be fighting the winner.

For months, that’s what Dana White and the UFC had been saying. Jon Jones vacated his light heavyweight title last year to prepare for his move to the heavyweight division.

However, immediately after UFC 260 we learned the fight was going to be hard to make. Jones and the promotion could never come close to a deal and as a result, the UFC moved on from Jones and focused on Derrick Lewis.

Now, we find ourselves in an interesting position. Jones recently hired Richard Schaeffer as his new representative. Schaeffer has a great relationship with UFC President Dana White and has already said publicly that he’s confident the Jones – Ngannou fight will get done.

Heavyweight Tournament?

With this interim title fight on the books for UFC 265, I think it’s time to go back to the negotiation table. There has never been a better time to book Jones against Ngannou. With the interim title fight booked, you get to give the top contenders the crack at gold that they rightfully deserve.

At the same time, if you book Ngannou – Jones, you’re also giving UFC fans the fight they want to see. A four-man tournament could be playing out for the biggest prize in all of combat sports. Of course, at this point it’s all talk, but even Ngannou’s coach talked about this potential silver lining. 

There’s also the outside chance that a four-man tournament plays out without Jones. Stipe Miocic (20-4) is bulking up and wants the trilogy with Ngannou. Perhaps the UFC moves in that direction if a fight with Jones still can’t be made.

This is definitely going to be a storyline to watch over the coming weeks.

Sound Off: Should the UFC book Ngannou against Jones/Miocic or wait for the Gane-Lewis winner?

BREAKING: UFC books interim heavyweight title fight between Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane

Massive breaking news this afternoon involving the UFC‘s heavyweight division. Dana White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto that the promotion is moving forward with an interim heavyweight title fight between Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) and Ciryl Gane (9-0).

The fight will headline UFC 265 on August 7th which will take place in Houston, Texas. This is a massive shot as Francis Ngannou (16-3) just became the undisputed heavyweight champion a few months ago.

The promotion had been trying to book Ngannou against Derrick Lewis for August, but Ngannou wasn’t ready. The latest word was that the UFC was going to book the heavyweight title fight for September, but everything changed on a dime.

Over the weekend at UFC Vegas 30, Ciryl Gane dominated Alexander Volkov to remain undefeated. After witnessing his performance, the UFC decided to move Gane up the ladder for an interim title fight against Lewis.

The manager for the UFC heavyweight champion was completely stunned by the news. Ngannou’s reps told Okamoto, “This comes as a complete shock. To make an interim title so soon, if you look at the history of this division, it comes as a surprise. We hope to get clarity and figure out something with the UFC soon.”

UFC’s odd decision

I honestly don’t understand the UFC’s logic here at all. By all accounts, Ngannou was going to be ready to defend his title in September. Over the last few years, the heavyweight title has been defended on average once per year.

Ngannou just won the title at the end of March. To make an interim title so soon is absolutely insane to me. Nevertheless, the UFC is moving forward and Ciryl Gane will battle Derrick Lewis in his backyard for the heavyweight title.

With this news, we likely won’t see Francis Ngannou against until the end of the year. Well, maybe the UFC will finally book Ngannou against Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) for the undisputed title then have the winners face off. Who knows, but I don’t think anyone saw this coming.

UFC: Stipe Miocic targeting a return at the end of the year to regain his title

MMA, Stipe Miocic

The greatest heavyweight in the history of the UFC is ready to make his return. Stipe Miocic (20-4) is ready to get back into the octagon and he’s excited to regain what he believes is his and that’s the heavyweight championship.

Back at UFC 260, Miocic was set to defend his title against Francis Ngannou (16-3). The two had met a couple of years prior and Miocic completely dominated Ngannou. However, this fight was a completely different story. Ngannou’s measured approach was difficult for Miocic to solve.

In the second round, Ngannou dropped Miocic with a straight shot. Upon retreating, Miocic landed a beautiful counter right that for a moment appeared to daze Ngannou. In reality, this was the worst thing that could have happened to Miocic at UFC 260.

Sensing he had Ngannou hurt, Miocic rushed in and was caught flush with a short left hook. That hook knocked Miocic out cold and Ngannou claimed the UFC heavyweight title. After the fight was over, many were wondering if that was the last time we’d see Miocic inside the octagon.

However, Miocic has made it clear that he’s going no where. He has a fire burning inside of him and he’s ready to get back to the heavyweight title. UFC President Dana White said last week that Miocic would be facing the winner of Ngannou – Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC). This news brought a smile to the former champion’s face.

UFC redemption?

In speaking to Submission Radio this week, Miocic said of the UFC President’s comments, “That’s great news. It’s what I was expecting, but you never know what could happen. I’m happy with that.” When asked about his timeline, Miocic said, “I don’t know, we will see on when they want to give me the rematch. End of this year, early next year, I don’t know.”

The UFC’s fallout with Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) has made a lot of this possible. Originally, the promotion wanted Jones to face off against the winner of the UFC 260 main event. However, the promotion and Jones never got on the same page when it comes to negotiations.

Jones recently hired former Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer as his representative. The former light heavyweight champion announced that he didn’t plan on returning to the UFC until next year which would fit Stipe Miocic’s timeline he has now.

However, yesterday, Jones said that if Schaefer does well for him in negotiations, he could return this year. The UFC is currently targeting the Ngannou – Lewis title fight for early August. The winner would likely face Miocic at the end of the year, but of course, Jones could throw a wrench into everything. Honestly, I would love to see Jones fight for the heavyweight title, but if anyone deserves a shot before him, it’s Stipe Miocic.

UFC: Jon Jones isn’t planning on fighting anytime soon

UFC, Jon Jones

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) isn’t planning on making his way back into the octagon anytime soon. Jones took to Twitter yesterday and made it clear that he’s in no rush to come back.

Last week, Dana White said that the UFC was moving on from Jon Jones in terms of the heavyweight title picture. White told TMZ that Jones’ fighting future is strictly up to Jon Jones.

Heading into 2021, it was clear that Jones would get a crack at the heavyweight title this year. At UFC 260, Francis Ngannou (16-3) knocked out Stipe Miocic (20-4) to become the heavyweight champion.

Immediately fans started getting excited about the possibility of a matchup between Jones and Ngannou. However, immediately after the fight was over, Jones and the UFC were at odds in terms of compensation.

After some back-and-forth both over social media and behind closed doors, the two sides couldn’t come to terms. As a result, Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) is going to be getting the next shot at the title. The UFC is trying to finalize the matchup for August.

Jones’ UFC Future

With Lewis being granted the shot at Ngannou, Dana White suggested that Jon Jones fights Stipe Miocic. This would be a fun matchup between arguably the greatest of all time and the greatest heavyweight of all time.

White’s logic was that this fight would truly establish a number one contender after the UFC title fight in August. However, Jones came out and said that the only fight he wants is the heavyweight title fight.

Since then, White has said that Stipe Miocic would be getting the winner of the matchup between Ngannou and Lewis. Stipe will likely get his shot at the end of the year or in early 2022.

With that, it will be another year where we don’t see Jon Jones in the UFC. His last fight came back in February of 2020 so we are likely looking at a two-year layoff for the all time great. Jones said on Twitter he doesn’t mind the wait, and thinks it might actually be a good thing.

UFC President on Jon Jones situation: ‘We’re Moving On’

UFC, Dana White

The UFC doesn’t have Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) in their plans anytime soon. The former light heavyweight champion and all time great has been in a public spat with the promotion about his pay.

Jones was seeking a bump in his pay to move up and fight the UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou (16-3). The fight with Jones and Ngannou is the biggest fight the promotion can make outside of a fight that features Conor McGregor.

Ngannou became the heavyweight champion at UFC 260 when he knocked out Stipe Miocic (20-4). For the months leading up to that event, it was understood that Jon Jones would be fighting the winner.

However, immediately after the fight was over, Jones started requesting a bump in his pay. While the numbers are not publicly known, it’s obvious that the gap between Jones and the UFC is wide.

White has been vocal in that Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) would likely get the next shot at Ngannou. However, with that fight not being finalized yet, there has been some outside hope that Jones would still get the shot.

UFC has moved on

Dana White spoke to TMZ Sports this week and he made it clear that the UFC has moved on from this situation with Jones. He also said that Jones will make the call on whether or not he wants to fight again.

“I have absolutely moved on. Listen, I put on fights every Saturday. We have a window on when we try to build some fights and make things happen. If the fights don’t happen within that window, we move on,” White said.

When asked about Jones’ UFC future, White said, “That’s up to Jon. I was saying that night (UFC 260), that he could absolutely fight again at 205. He said he wouldn’t fight Stipe…Listen, there’s nothing wrong with going out on top.”

With the UFC moving towards booking the rematch between Ngannou and Lewis, White had previously suggested Jones fight Stipe Miocic in a title eliminator. However, Jones said last week that he had no interest in fighting the former heavyweight champion.

UFC: Jon Jones isn’t interested in Dana White’s idea to have him fight Stipe Miocic

UFC, Jon Jones

Right now, the world is waiting on an official announcement on what’s next for the UFC‘s heavyweight division. Francis Ngannou (16-3) defeated Stipe Miocic (20-4) back at UFC 260 to become the undisputed heavyweight champion.

After the fight was over, we thought we’d be getting Ngannou versus Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) next. However, financial negotiations between Jones and the UFC have not gone over well and as of now, the promotion is moving in a different direction.

Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) is the top contender in the heavyweight division who is also waiting for a title shot. The Black Beast holds a victory over Ngannou and he’s riding a four-fight win streak.

UFC president Dana White spoke to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto and told him that the promotion was doing Ngannou – Lewis 2 next. Stipe Miocic has come out and said that he is fully intending on getting his UFC heavyweight title back.

Miocic said that he plans to bulk up before a trilogy with Ngannou. When made aware of these comments by Okamoto, White said that he loved it. Then he smiled and suggested the UFC do Miocic versus Jones in the interim.

UFC: Jones vs Miocic?

In a serious of deleted tweets that were later posted by MMA Junkie, the former UFC light heavyweight champion shot down the idea of fighting Miocic. Jones made it clear that he wants to fight Ngannou next and he will wait for that fight.

“Don’t get excited people, I’m not fighting Stipe…I’m not here to fight Stipe but I will defend my belt against him no problem. I’m looking for the biggest draw and I’m willing to wait. 33 years old I’m a better athlete right now than I’ve ever been before. I’m just going to keep training my ass off… The world wants to see some black on black crime right now and I’m going to give it to them.”

Jones is right about one thing; the biggest fight the UFC can make is Jones versus Ngannou. However, that isn’t what’s going to be next. We will likely see Ngannou rematch with Derrick Lewis in August.

If Ngannou comes out of that fight victorious, the UFC will likely try to book the Jones fight again for the end of the year. If that fight happens at the end of the year, Stipe Miocic will likely be waiting in the wings next spring.

Is the UFC revisiting Jon Jones – Francis Ngannou or have they moved on?

UFC, Jon Jones

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.

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.

UFC: Derrick Lewis says August is ‘looking real good’ for his rematch with Francis Ngannou

Last month at UFC 260, Francis Ngannou (16-3) knocked out Stipe Miocic (20-4) to become the undisputed heavyweight champion. After the fight was over, the attention immediately turned to the super fight between Ngannou and Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC).

Jones is widely considered to be the greatest fighter in UFC history. Last year, he vacated his light heavyweight title in order to prepare for his move to the heavyweight division. The fight everyone wanted looked like it was going to happen.

However, financial negotiations never got off to a good start. There never was any positive momentum with the UFC and Jones and as of right this second, the fight appears to have no life.

With that, the promotion has moved on to the number on contender Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC). The Black Beast has won four fights in a row. He’s coming off of a highlight reel knockout over Curtis Blaydes.

Lewis and Ngannou have already fought once back at UFC 226. The fight was expected to deliver a knockout, but instead, both men looked tentative and Lewis went on to win a decision due to a little more activity.

UFC 265?

Lewis spoke to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani where they talked about the rematch with Ngannou. The Black Beast said that the UFC offered the fight to both men for June, but the heavyweight champion wanted to go back to Cameroon and take some time off.

With that, Helwani followed up asking about when the next target is. Lewis responded with, “August is looking real good right now.” That would likely be slated for UFC 265 which already has the title fight between Amanda Nunes and Julianna Pena.

From all indications, this appears to be the date the UFC is pushing for. There is positive momentum towards this fight, but there is one thing that can throw a wrench into it all. That thing is Jon Jones.

The former UFC light heavyweight champion parted ways this week with his management. We don’t know if that was due to the failed negotiations, but it’s something to keep an eye on. I wouldn’t rule out Jones ultimately getting the fight, but right now the smart money is on Ngannou – Lewis 2 headlining UFC 265.

UFC appears to be moving towards Francis Ngannou – Derrick Lewis 2

Francis Ngannou

The UFC appears unwilling to meet the demands of Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC). The former light heavyweight champion has been very vocal about what he wants financially to fight Francis Ngannou (16-3) for the UFC heavyweight title.

Ngannou just won the title at UFC 260 when he knocked out Stipe Miocic in the second round. Immediately after the fight was over, Jones and the UFC were at odds. It all started with a ‘Show me the money’ tweet from Jones.

The promotion called Jones and talked parameters. However, Jones was not thrilled and insinuated last week that the offer to fight Ngannou would be for around 8-10 million dollars. This number was too low for the former UFC light heavyweight champion.

ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported today that the promotion is not willing to meet the asking price of Jones as of now. With that in mind, the UFC has started kicking the tires on the rematch between Ngannou and Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC)

UFC moving to Ngannou – Lewis 2?

After Jones tweeted out last week that the UFC’s offer was too low, Lewis said that he would take the fight. The Black Beast is ready to go and he wants a shot at Ngannou and the UFC heavyweight title.

Per Helwani, the promotion tried booking the fight for June 12th. However, Ngannou wanted a little more time seeing as he just won the heavyweight title the weekend before last.

With that in mind, the UFC is now looking at August as a potential spot for the rematch between Ngannou and Lewis. Their first fight failed to live up to expectations and Derrick Lewis won a decision.

However, I think the rematch would go much differently and I believe that’s what the UFC is banking on. As of now, the promotion is seems intent on moving on from Jon Jones and his demands.

In reaching out to a few people, it seems that the odds of Jones and the UFC coming to a deal anytime soon are low. Jones might challenge for the heavyweight title, but as of now it doesn’t appear that he will be next for Francis Ngannou.

Jon Jones says UFC offer of $8-10 million would be way too low; Derrick Lewis responds

UFC, Jon Jones

The biggest fight the UFC could make right now outside of Conor McGregor – Dustin Poirier 3 is a heavyweight title fight between Francis Ngannou (16-3) and Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC). That’s a fight that the world wants to see.

For the last couple of months, it was obvious what was coming in the UFC‘s heavyweight division. UFC 260 was headlined between Ngannou and former heavyweight champion, Stipe Miocic (20-4).

The winner of that fight would take on Jon Jones who vacated his light heavyweight title last year to move to heavyweight. While that has been the plan all along, things have hit a brick wall in terms of the financial negotiations.

Things have become so testy between Jones and the UFC that Jones requested his release from the promotion. Today, Jones took to Twitter and seemed to shed a little light on the financial negotiations.

Jones said that the UFC‘s lawyer, Hunter Campbell, called him a few days ago. The former light heavyweight champion said that any offer that was in the range of $8-10 million would be, “Way too low.”

What will the UFC do?

The one thing I will say is that I don’t think it was in Jones’ best interest to let this play out publicly. In reality, while it’s the best fight to make and the biggest fight to make, Jones doesn’t hold a ton of leverage here.

The UFC has a very solid backup option and the backup option is ready to go. That backup option is the popular, Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC). Lewis took to Twitter and made it clear that he would accept the fight for $8 million.

It’s pretty obvious that Lewis would be willing to do it for a lot less than that even. Dana White has already said that Lewis could be the next in line to take on Francis Ngannou if Jones prices himself out of the fight.

With Ngannou wanting to be an active champion, I wouldn’t be shocked if the UFC starts the process of moving on from this fight if things don’t progress. The promotion is targeting August for the return of Ngannou.

Given the current timelines, I would give the negotiations another week or two. If the UFC doesn’t get any closer with Jon Jones, they will move on. One thing we know about Dana White is that he’s not going to bend over backwards to appease Jon Jones.