Francis Ngannou prefers a Tyson Fury boxing bout OVER a clash with Jon Jones as UFC’s heavyweight champion insists ‘nobody really cares’ about the mega-fight after months of failed talks ahead of UFC 270 grudge match against Ciryl Gane
- Francis Ngannou admits he would prefer to fight Tyson Fury over Jon Jones
- The Cameroonian, 35, has been heavily linked with a move to the boxing ring
- He has been embroiled in a back-and-forth with the Gypsy King in recent weeks
- Ngannou says a Fury fight appeals as ‘nobody cares’ about the Jones fight now
Francis Ngannou has moved on from a potential mega-fight with Jon Jones, insisting that he would prefer to fight Tyson Fury after his UFC 270 clash with Ciryl Gane.
Ngannou, 35, defends his UFC heavyweight title for the first time this weekend in California when he meets former team-mate Gane, yet the Cameroonian has been engulfed in speculation regarding his future in the sport.
The Predator has made no secret of his ambition to one day step in the boxing ring and has recently been embroiled in a Twitter spat with Fury, the WBC heavyweight champion.
Francis Ngannou (left) says he would prefer to fight Tyson Fury (right) over Jon Jones next
The past 12 months have seen Ngannou strongly linked with a blockbuster against Jones, who is eyeing a move to heavyweight having conquered the 205-pound ranks.
However talks with the UFC have stalled and are showing no sign of progress, much to the Cameroonian’s frustration.
And now, Ngannou has revealed he would rather take on the Gypsy King following his grudge match with Gane, insisting that ‘nobody cares’ about a Jones mega-fight anymore.
Ngannou has long been linked with a mega-fight against Jones, but talks have stalled lately
The Cameroonian, 35, told Sportsmail that ‘nobody really cares’ about the Jones fight anymore
‘If you give me the two options, I would choose fighting Tyson Fury,’ he said. ‘After fighting Stipe [Miocic], the Jon Jones fight was on the table but it seems like nobody really cares about it [now].
‘So I don’t know, and also we don’t even know what the position is of Jon Jones right now. You are talking about Jon Jones, have you heard about Jon Jones [recently]? Know when he is fighting? So I’m not planning my life around that. I am planning my life around the facts.’
Despite all the talk of a potential move to boxing, Ngannou insists that he remains fully focused on the task at hand in California.
Conor McGregor admitted that he spent the majority of the build up to his second fight with Dustin Poirier with a box-first mindset ahead of a rumoured fight with Manny Pacquiao, but Ngannou says he has not fallen into the same trap.
For now, Ngannou says all his focus is on defending his heavyweight title on Saturday night
He takes on former team-mate Ciryl Gane, with hostility between the pair at an all time high
‘I am focusing on this one, this is not a boxing match,’ he said. ‘This is an MMA match and for the record I always had boxing in mind, even before the beginning of my MMA career, before I discovered the sport I had boxing in mind and it never goes away.
‘My dream since I was a kid was to become a boxer. Along the way I discovered MMA which has been great to me but it still hasn’t taken away that dream from boxing. I always knew that I wanted to do boxing before the end of my career.’
As Ngannou points out, his attention is firmly fixed on the task at hand on Saturday night. The Cameroonian left the MMA Factory – where he used to spar with Gane – in 2018, and his former coach, Fernanrd Lopez, has not hidden his disappointment in his former charge’s departure.
Ngannou (R) did not take kindly to ex-coach Fernand Lopez’s (L) attempts to patch things up
Lopez recently said that he views Ngannou as a ‘son’ and wants to reconcile his relationship with the 35-year-old, a sentiment that has not been reciprocated by the heavyweight champion, who views his remarks as a psychological ploy.
‘What the f*** is that? Father to who? Screw him,’ he said of Lopez’s comments. ‘I don’t play that game. I know exactly what his playing.
‘It is nothing. After all what he has been doing he comes and says this. If you don’t like somebody just speak your mind. He almost sees me as his son, I see him as my son too.’
Watch Francis Ngannou aim to defend his UFC heavyweight belt as he faces Ciryl Gane at UFC 270: NGANNOU vs. GANE this Saturday January 22. Early prelims start at 11pm, with the main card starting at 3am, live on BT Sport 2