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In another time line, it could very easily be Francis Ngannou headlining UFC 285 this weekend. After all, “The Predator” only officially vacated his Heavyweight title in the last couple months, creating the opening for Ciryl Gane vs. Jon Jones to decide its now mantle. In particular, “Bones” vs. Ngannou has been discussed since Jones first dropped the Light Heavyweight title, and it’s well-known that it would’ve been a blockbuster fight.
Instead, Ngannou will try his hand at free agency, chasing massive fights in the ring and cage alike. It’s a business move, one that Jones initially seemed to relate to given his own negotiation troubles with UFC over the years. However, Jones has changed up his mind recently, criticizing Ngannou for a lack of confidence in himself and walking away from the “Bones” challenge.
Despite the change in tune, Ngannou is not angry with Jones. Instead, he’s disappointed that the opportunity for solidarity has dissipated, because he believes that athletes fighting with one another is what the UFC wants.
“Personally, I don’t have any problem with Jon Jones,” Ngannou explained to MMA Junkie. “I think we all know that Jon Jones has multiple personalities, and sometimes it’s even hard for him to figure out who he really is – and I don’t have nothing to do with that.
“… I think in this fight we could have been on the same side, instead of like fighting against each other, which is exactly what the system wants. You know, to divide the most, to conquer. So, I’m not really into that game. I see clearly what’s happening, I understand very well what’s happening, and I wish them all the best, you know?”
Of course, not all hope is lost for eventually seeing Jones vs. Ngannou. “The Predator” has remarked that he’d be willing to return to UFC under the right circumstances, so perhaps after a foray or two in the boxing ring, Ngannou might be willing to rejoin the ranks.
It also has a great deal to do with whether or not Jones can handle Gane this weekend.
LIVE! Watch UFC 285 PPV On ESPN+ Here!
HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION SUPER FIGHT! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., March 4, 2023, with one of the biggest fights in its history as No. 1-ranked Heavyweight contender, Ciryl Gane, and former Light Heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, collide in a “super” fight for the vacant undisputed Heavyweight title. In UFC 285’s pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event, women’s Flyweight roost-ruler, Valentina Shevchenko — UFC’s current longest-reigning champion — defends her 125-pound title against Mexico’s Alexa Grasso.
Who painted this masterpiece?
Recent struggles aside, Conor McGregor still knows how to look sharp in his training drills.
This clip gives me Tony Ferguson vibes, and I love it.
I don’t know that Kevin Lee is going to find a huge amount of success at Welterweight, but Neil Magny makes sense as a return oppone
My guy you had your chance to fight me on the McGregor card July 10 you pulled out with a “rib” injury and I’m currently recovering a torn adductor I’m sure @NeilMagny ain’t scared to fight you
— Sean BRADY (@seanbradymma) February 28, 2023
Dagestani basketball never die!
As a longtime Thiago Santos fan, the idea of describing him and his fighting style as technical is so hilarious. The man has a giant hammer on his chest BECAUSE “Marreta” is a wild man!
Man I just finished watching my Thiago Santos fight again. I think it’s crazy that you guys consider gane the most technical kickboxer I’ve ever faced. Everything Thiago did have bad intentions on it. Dude had lightning speed, power, explosiveness. Crazy versatility.
— BONY (@JonnyBones) February 27, 2023
This is such a cool sweep!
Slips, rips, and KO clips
Just how far will Shavkat Rakhmonov go? If he runs through Geoff Neal like all the others, I’d like to see him in a title eliminator next.
Timed him on the way in pretty perfectly!
When a fighter switches to their non-dominant stance, that’s a great time to blast a power kick.
Midnight Music: Dance pop, 2013
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.