UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is not convinced Jon Jones will make a return to competition next summer as the superstar has recently suggested.
In an interview with KRQE, “Bones” revealed that his intentions were to return to the Octagon around April or July. Admittedly, Jon Jones understood that his next career move would hinge on the results of UFC 270: Ngannou vs. Gane. Ciryl Gane captured interim gold in August when he earned a TKO victory against Houston’s Derrick Lewis. After earning the interim strap, fans are counting down the days until the Jan. heavyweight unification bout including Jones.
“I’m looking to fight somewhere in April, possibly Madison Square Garden, or a total opposite date, possibly July at International Fight Week,” he told Albuquerque, N.M., TV station KRQE. “Those are the two dates that I’m kind of eying. I think it’ll depend on who wins in January between Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane, and we’ll just take it from there.” Jones explained.
Francis Ngannou Not Sold On Jon Jones Return
While Jones has his eye on a couple of return dates, UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou won’t believe the superstar until he actually returns to the cage. Speaking with MMA Junkie‘s Mike Bohn, Francis Ngannou explains that he has moved on from a potential fight opportunity with Jon Jones until further notice.
“Personally I don’t really care about that anymore,” Ngannou told MMA Junkie. “There is a lot of talk about Jon Jones. He says a lot of things, yet we are still here. I wasn’t even expecting to fight someone other than Jon Jones after the Stipe (Miocic) fight, but here I am. It’s almost 10 months away, I’m going to fight Ciryl Gane which wasn’t in the picture, in the landscape at that moment at all.”
It should be noted that Jon Jones is currently managing litigation for an alleged battery domestic violence charge. The arrest occurred in Sept., shortly after the UFC Hall of Fame ceremony. As it stands, Ngannou is done being teased by the potential super fight and is ready to move on with his career.
“What Jon Jones says and what Jon Jones does is two different things and I can’t bet on that,” Ngannou said. “I can’t put my money on that. I just do what I’m going to do and we don’t know what the future holds for us. It’s not something that I’m running against anymore.”
Francis Ngannou will seek the first title defense of his heavyweight reign on Jan. 22 when he faces France’s Gane. As Jones continues to pack on the muscle, perhaps a 2022 summer return date is a viable possibility. With UFC 270 around the corner, surely the public will have a better handle on Jones’ next career move after the unification bout concludes.