Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou traded barbs on social media shortly after news broke that ‘The Predator’ had signed with the Professional Fighters League.
After months of speculation and negotiations with every major combat sports promotion in the world, Francis Ngannou revealed that he has signed with the PFL. Expected to make his Smart Cage debut in 2024, the former UFC heavyweight champion is already taking it on the chin from some of his former co-workers, specifically Jon Jones. The reigning heavyweight titleholder took a clear dig at Ngannou on Twitter shortly after news of his signing broke the internet.
“Calling yourself the baddest man on the planet from across the street, who does that? Lol,” Jones tweeted.
It didn’t take long for Francis Ngannou to snap back on social media, suggesting that if ‘Bones’ wants to prove himself, he should simply cross the street.
Determined to have the final word, Jon Jones responded to a fan’s comment, suggesting that Ngannou is doing a lot more talking now that he’s safely signed to a rival promotion.
“You notice that! Wasn’t calling himself the baddest when he was still a free agent. He signed safely behind a new organization, and now suddenly the baddest thing walking. Like we all haven’t seen him quitting inside that cage before.”
What’s Next For Francis Ngannou and Jon Jones If It’s Not Each Other?
While fans continue to hold out hope for a potential clash between the two heavyweight superstars, Francis Ngannou’s announcement on Tuesday may have effectively put out what was left of that once-burning fire. During his appearance on a special Tuesday episode of The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, ‘The Predator’ revealed that his PFL debut will come in 2024. Before then, Ngannou plans on making his professional boxing debut before 2023 comes to a close. He suggested that high-profile matchups against Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder are still possible, but he may opt to take a tune-up fight before throwing hands with one of the heavyweight division’s top dogs.
As for Jon Jones, the newly crowned UFC heavyweight champion is still waiting for his next assignment. After making quick work of top heavyweight contender Ciryl Gane at UFC 285, ‘Bones’ turned his attention to general consensus heavyweight GOAT Stipe Miocic. Initially targeting a July clash during the promotion’s annual International Fight Week festivities, the bout now appears to be slated for the UFC’s return to Madison Square Garden in November.
With Francis Ngannou signing on the dotted line with the PFL, a potential meeting with Jon Jones is nothing more than a fantasy for the time being, but as we’ve come to learn, anything can happen in MMA.