Las Vegas, NV — Francis Ngannou’s performance in the main event of UFC 260 on Saturday was impressive to say the least. Coming out of the Cameroonian fighter’s knockout of Stipe Miocic, which claimed the heavyweight title for “The Predator,” the question quickly became who would be next.
A rubber match with Miocic? Jon Jones? Derrick Lewis?
Jones has long been presumed to be the next man in line at heavyweight. The former 205lb champ vacated his belt last year, and has been bulking up, preparing to debut in the UFC’s largest weight class after years of speculation. So it’s Jones next, in what would clearly be a super fight. How could it not be?
Except this: “show me the money.” That was Jones’ immediate response to Ngannou’s performance at UFC 260. The former champ was quick to quote Jerry Maguire, hinting he was looking for a big payday to take on Ngannou.
“What’s ‘show me the money mean?'” Dana White questioned during UFC 260’s post-fight press conference. Speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press, the UFC President added that “I tell you guys this all the time: you can say you want to fight somebody, but do you really want to?”
“Derrick Lewis just looked good too. We finally have some good heavyweights in this division now. There’s some interesting fights for [Ngannou],” White added.
While White joked that Jones might want to drop to 185lbs after Ngannou’s performance, Jones later took to social media again to say that he didn’t “gain all this weight for no reason.”
“I like it. That sounds serious then Jon. Call Hunter [Campbell, UFC EVP and Chief Business Officer] right now. We can make that fight tonight, Jon. Call Hunter right now,” White replied. But asked if Jones was the fight to make, White had another option.
“Derrick Lewis is the fight to make,” suggested White. Lewis recently stunned Curtis Blaydes, extending his own win streak to four. “But if Jon Jones really wants that fight— listen, it’s one thing to go out and tweet and say you want it and ‘I put on the weight’ and I did this and that. Do you want the fight? I promise you, we can call Derrick Lewis or one of these other heavyweights, and they want the fight. If Jon Jones really wants the fight, Jon Jones knows he can get the fight. All he’s got to do is call and do it.”
“It’s easy to say you want the fight, but if you really want the fight, Francis Ngannou is the heavyweight champion of the world right now,” White continued. “All [Jones] has to do is pick up the phone and call Hunter, and we can get the deal done.”
Maybe Jones got a busy signal. After reiterating his desire to be paid more, Jones posted yet another message to social media: “It’s OK, Derek (sic) can have the fight. No need to rush a great thing. I’ve already had a Hall of Fame career, I’m going to need some bread.”
Watch the full UFC 260 post-fight press conference with Dana White above.