According to Daniel Cormier, the highly anticipated match-up between Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou is a fight that simply has to happen.
Ngannou, a former heavyweight champion, recently parted ways with UFC due to a failed contract negotiation. He has yet to find a new home.
Meanwhile, Jones, a former light heavyweight champion, has returned to the ring after an extended break and made a successful transition to the heavyweight division. He quickly claimed the vacant belt at UFC 285 by submitting Ciryl Gane. While Jones is currently scheduled to face Stipe Miocic later this year, Cormier insists that fans are eagerly anticipating a showdown between Jones and Ngannou.
“We want to see Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou,” Cormier said on his YouTube channel. “I know I do. I’m all in on that fight because I think that fight would blow the roof off of on any arena that they put these two into. I believe that’s the one that will get Jones excited. It’ll challenge him physically, but also mentally for his preparation to be ready and more ready than ever because he understands the challenges ahead of him in Francis Ngannou.”
In a recent statement, Jones disclosed his plan to retire following his upcoming bout with Miocic, unless Francis Ngannou makes a comeback to UFC. However, UFC president Dana White reportedly made it clear that "The Predator" won't be returning to the octagon, despite being offered the biggest contract in UFC heavyweight history.
While several notable figures in the industry, such as Chael Sonnen and Michael Bisping, believe that Ngannou may have made a mistake by leaving the UFC, Cormier holds a different opinion and suggests that Ngannou could still fare well outside the promotion.
“I don’t know what Francis is doing, but you saw his post the other day in front of the Mercedes: ‘Just me fumbling the bag,'” Cormier said. “Maybe Francis isn’t hurting as much as we think. Maybe because Francis isn’t just out there boasting and pushing out ‘I’m doing this, this, this, and this,’ maybe the dude’s not hurting. Maybe Francis (has) got this sh*t all under control.”