UFC

UFC 260: Ngannou sets sights on 'GOAT' Jones after downing Miocic

By Sports Desk March 28, 2021

Francis Ngannou set his sights on Jon Jones after sealing a devastating knockout win in his rematch with Stipe Miocic to claim the heavyweight title at UFC 260.

Ngannou became the undisputed champion as he gained revenge after being outclassed by Miocic three years ago at UFC 220, the Cameroonian landing a brutal and decisive blow with a left hook in the second round.

And now the 34-year-old wants a shot at Jones, with the legendary American poised to step up to the heavyweight division later this year.

Ngannou lauded Jones as the GOAT of MMA, but declared he was ready for the challenge.

"In my opinion, Jon Jones is the greatest of all time in mixed martial arts. Him moving up is going to be a good thing," he said after his stunning victory in Las Vegas.

"He's a challenge I will take, and it will be a very good thing on the resume. But this time he is the challenger. I am the champ. He's coming up, looking for me.

"So I'm ready any time soon. Even summer, I will be here, ready to fight in July or August. Whenever they are ready, I'm ready.

"He said something, 'Show me the money'. Show the money and we'll go, baby. I'm here."

Miocic – who was coming off a unanimous decision win over Daniel Cormier at UFC 252 last August – was left stunned by an overpowering display from Ngannou, who got the job done 52 seconds into round two.

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    Ngannou retained his heavyweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Ciryl Gane in Anaheim on Saturday.

    The 35-year-old got the better of his former training partner Gane for the first victory by decision of his 17-3-0 UFC career.

    Ngannou then revealed he had actually torn his MCL and damaged his ACL while sparring in preparation for the fight.

    His manager, Marquel Martin, told ESPN on Wednesday that Ngannou will spend some time resting back home in his native Cameroon and that the "plan" is to have surgery once he returns to the United States.

    It is estimated Ngannou will be out for nine months recovering from the injuries.

    "I continue to be amazed and inspired by Francis' heart and resilience," Martin said.

    "Fighting on one leg to overcome all odds and remind the world he is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. I think we can all agree he deserves some time to go back home and be with his family and countrymen.

    "Upon his return, we plan on getting surgery and starting the recovery process so we can get him back to 100 percent as soon as possible.

    "In the meantime, we hope we can find a peaceful resolution in these contract talks [with the UFC]. We'd like to thank all the fans for their continued support and belief in Francis."

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    Ngannou on Saturday defeated Ciryl Gane by unanimous decision to unify the UFC heavyweight division, a feat he achieved despite tearing his MCL in the build-up to the fight. 

    The UFC 270 loss was the first of Gane's career, while Ngannou improved to 17-3 by extending his victorious streak to six fights. 

    The Cameroonian is widely regarded as the hardest puncher in UFC and, with contract negotiations with the organisation dragging on due to a pay dispute, he has been heavily linked with a switch to boxing. 

    WBC heavyweight champion Fury would relish the chance to take on Ngannou, suggesting it could put his financial concerns to bed. 

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    Ngannou trained as a boxer in the early stages of his career in combat sports and expressed he remains keen to return to the discipline following his victory over Gane. 

    "As I always say, boxing is always in the back of my pocket. It's something that I must do before the end of my career," he said. 

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