UFC: After Negotiations Fail for Ngannou Fight, Jon Jones Says It’s “Red Panty Night” for 205’ers

    Jon Jones UFC 235 UFC 239 UFC 247
    Jon Jones Credit: Rodney James Edgar/Cageside Press

    The much-ballyhooed heavyweight “super-fight” between Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou is no more. At least, according to Jones.

    With the UFC booking a slew of fights for upcoming events, including a possible return to Nevada and a Fight Island date, the Jones vs. Ngannou fight might have been the icing on the cake. Instead, the cake never made it to the oven. Jones revealed on Twitter Thursday that negotiations for the fight had quickly soured.

    As a result, the light heavyweight champion said, it’s “red panty night” for the light heavyweight division.

    The talk of a fight with Ngannou erupted after the Cameroonian fighter annihilated Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC 249 earlier this month. It’s talk that Jones immediately entertained, saying he’d be willing to move up in weight, for the right price.

    Ngannou, the number one contender at heavyweight after Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier 3 finally goes down, seemed interested as well. In fact, it’s about the only thing that seemed to interest the power-puncher, other than that title fight. An interim title certainly didn’t do it for him.

    However, shortly after Jones said he was negotiating with the UFC on Thursday, things took a turn.

    “Before even discussing numbers, the UFC was unwilling to pay more for the Francis super fight / for me to move to heavyweight. Said I could possibly earn more in pay-per-view buys,” he stated. Asked by a fan if legacy wasn’t, perhaps, worth more than money, “Bones” answered “Honestly no, not in the stage of my career. I could retire today. I’ve already done my job, I’ve given this company over a decade of entertainment.”

    Jones (26-2, 1NC) has been with the UFC since 2008, and was the youngest champion in UFC history. As well as one of its most dominant. A fact that is easy to forget, with Jones’ follies outside the cage — drunk driving, performance enhancing drugs, cocaine use, a hit and run, a firearms charge, an assault charge — piling up even quicker than his title defenses.

    He remains the only fighter in UFC history to be stripped of a title on three separate occasions. However, in each instance, he’s reclaimed the belt.

    Suggesting that the heavyweight division might see him in a year or two, Jones added “Maybe when they’re ready to do better business I’ll come back, until then health fitness and family.” He’d then correct himself, saying “I should’ve worded that differently, I actually think these guys do great business. Right now things just aren’t where I want them to be,” before ending with “red panty night for the light heavyweight division.”

    A clearly disappointed Francis Ngannou (15-3) later added “In my opinion, the UFC aren’t willing to make this Jon fight happens or at least for what it worth.” He signed that statement with a sack of cash emoji. “No title fight, no super fight, who knows when going to be my next fight. Hope it’s not in another 11 months or so.”

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