Francis Ngannou couldn’t care less what Dana White and Jon Jones think of him
Francis Ngannou couldn’t care less what UFC president Dana White and Jon Jones have to say about him.
During UFC 285 fight week, White said that Ngannou will “never be in the UFC again” after he didn’t accept the promotion’s offer following more than a year of negotiations, prompting his release in January.
Those words don’t mean anything to the former UFC heavyweight champion.
“Hey, I don’t care about what Dana White says,” Ngannou told ESPN in an interview released Friday. “That was my call (to leave), not his call. So he has to make his own amends with that. I made my amends after. I wish him to do the same.”
As a result of his release, Ngannou was forced to vacate the heavyweight title, which Jones claimed by submitting Ciryl Gane in the first round of the UFC 285 headliner last Saturday in Las Vegas.
Ngannou vs. Jones had been pegged as the fight to make if Ngannou signed a new contract with the UFC, but it obviously fell by the wayside. After his win over Gane, Jones called Ngannou “a p*ssy” and claimed Ngannou intentionally ran away from the fight.
More words that Ngannou isn’t the least bit concerned about.
“We know Jon Jones with his drama. I think he’s just being dramatic,” Ngannou said. “… I don’t take that seriously. There is not a fight on earth that I would back down from. I don’t care. I go there and whatever happens happens. It’s the sport. And definitely Jon Jones is not the guy.
“He might be the best ever, but he’s not a guy that I’m running away from. No, not him. I’ll fight Jon Jones twice a month.”
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Ngannou, 36, continues to weigh his options but reiterated that boxing remains his first priority. While he’s been in talks with a number of big-name boxers, Deontay Wilder apparently has emerged as the front runner to finalize a deal.
Wilder first mentioned the possibility of two fights – one in boxing and one in MMA – last month. Ngannou’s coach, Eric Nicksick, told MMA Junkie earlier this month that Ngannou viewed Wilder as the “most intriguing” boxing matchup for him.
Ngannou shed light on the extent of the talks in his interview with ESPN.
“The most that we have spoken (to) is Deontay Wilder’s team,” Ngannou said. “We’ve been having some exchanges, basically come to some sort of verbal agreement that we want to fight each other. We want to fight two fights. We want to fight maybe one of those fights in Africa or maybe two of those fights in Africa, which would be massive. It would be great. Next year is the 50th anniversary of ‘The Rumble in the Jungle,’ and I think that would be the opportunity to do something massive in Africa. We are looking at something around that timeline, as well, for the potential second fight.”