Francis Ngannou may not be competing in the UFC anymore, but he’s still keeping an eye on his division, particularly after a new champion was crowned last Saturday night.
After Jon Jones defeated Ciryl Gane at UFC 285 with a swift submission, the unsigned Ngannou saw his coronation.
The former champion acknowledges he wasn’t very shocked by Jones’ victory. Yet he was surprised at how quickly the fight came to an end.
Ngannou claimed on his YouTube channel that he was confident Jones would win this fight if he came into it mentally strong, as opposed to his previous two contests. He also expressed surprise at how quickly the fight came to an end.
“I think even seeing Ciryl’s reaction, he was surprised as well, because he wasn’t even defending. He wasn’t thinking that a submission would come from where he was at. That was quite a great performance from Jones.” Ngannou said.
Ngannou was surprised by the fight’s quickness but anticipated Jones’ advantage in the clinch. He won a unanimous decision over Gane in his own five-round fight in January 2021 by dominating the second half of the contest with takedowns and ground control.
“What I do know is Jon was rushing. Jon didn’t want to give him space because he, I think he was afraid of something. Maybe of getting exhausted at some point, not being able to grab him, so he was chasing him from the first minute to grab him. He walked out pretty good, but it tells me something. He wasn’t very confident. He was rushing, which is good for him.” remarked Ngannou
Ngannou tweeted his congratulations to Jones following his victory and remarked that despite not having the belt, he was still the heavyweight king. In reaction, Jones referred to him as a “big ol’ wimp” before focusing on a future matchup with former UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.
As for Francis Ngannou, Scott Coker, the CEO of Bellator, wants him to fight MMA for Bellator. Following a recent meeting with the former UFC heavyweight champion, Coker is confident that everything is going well.
Ngannou (17-3) formally became a free agent earlier this year when his UFC contract expired and he decided not to sign a new contract with the company that would have allowed him to defend his championship against Jon Jones at UFC 285 the following month. Since that time, “The Predator” has been courted by every illustrious combat promotion in existence.
President of Bellator, Coker, believes he has a compelling prospect for Ngannou, and the firm is not an exception. Showtime boxing is a division of Viacom, which also sponsors Bellator and promotes mixed martial arts. Ngannou has made it no secret that he wants to fight at some time, and his name has already been linked to fighters like Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.
After recently sitting down with Ngannou, 36, Coker is eager to do business with him and hopeful that a deal will materialize.
Prior to Bellator 291 on February 25, 2023 Coker said to reporters, “From my perspective, then you talk about signing him to Bellator, we’re also talking about having a conversation with him and Stephen (Espinoza), which happened earlier this week, about getting into Showtime pay-per-view boxing, too. I think we have a great company to offer him both sides of the combat sports business that he would like to, which is fight MMA and also box. I think we’re a great fit. There’s ongoing discussions, so we’ll see what happens.”
Coker was questioned regarding the potential for sponsoring the two-sport series that Wilder has openly suggested between Ngannou and Ngannou. Coker expressed interest in speaking with Wilder, but added that the issue is still “fluid” because it appears like Ngannou has a variety of choices available to him.