Francis Ngannou plans to have two more fights in 2021 and has reaffirmed his desire to take on Jon Jones, whose future with UFC remains unclear.

Ngannou claimed the heavyweight title in style on Saturday, dethroning Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 thanks to a second-round knockout in a rematch of their meeting back in January 2018.

The 34-year-old made clear in the immediate aftermath that he is ready and willing to face Jones, a fighter he described as the GOAT of MMA.

A two-time former light-heavyweight champion, Jones has not fought in just over a year amid contract negotiations. Whether he returns or not, Ngannou understands he is now in a position to call the shots.

"I don't know what exactly happened between Jon Jones and the UFC, but I think there's something wrong, and I also think he handled it maybe a little in the wrong way," Ngannou said during an appearance on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show.

"Listen, that's not my business. There's a lot of contenders ready to fight. For the first time, I'm the man who's making the call.

"I don't have to sit down and wait for people. They're waiting for me, and I'm ready.

"I can choose to fight, and I want to fight maybe two [more] times this year. I hope that [Jones] fight happens."

Jones provided an update on his own situation via Twitter on Wednesday, revealing negotiations are continuing with the organisation.

"I had a brief phone meeting with UFC's lawyer Hunter [Campbell] a few days ago. As of right now I expressed to him that anywhere around eight to $10million would be way too low for a fight of this magnitude. That’s all that has been discussed so far," he tweeted.

"I'm supposed to be waiting for what their offer is going to be. Really hoping the numbers are nowhere near that low. I guess we will see what happens."

If Jones is not available, Ngannou could instead be set for a rematch with Derrick Lewis, who won a forgettable first fight by unanimous decision back in July 2018.

However, the new champion promises there will be no repeat, should the rivals go up against each other once again.

"I think we'll have this fight that never really happened. I will have to give the fans what they deserve," Ngannou said.

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.

Khabib Nurmagomedov moving to the top of the UFC's pound-for-pound rankings is "number one bulls***", according to Jon Jones.

Jones lost his place at the top of the rankings to Khabib after the undefeated lightweight champion unified the division with a second-round submission of Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 last weekend.

The Russian announced his retirement in the immediate aftermath and called on the UFC to give him the honour of being named the best pound-for-pound in the organisation.

His desire was granted on Tuesday and former light-heavyweight king Jones was not impressed at losing his spot.

"This is number one bulls***," Jones wrote on Twitter.

"Unanimous decision over last-minute replacement Al Iaquinta to become champion.

"Conor McGregor is the only opponent he's ever had that the general public actually knew. Catapulted my man to becoming the best ever, this is hilarious."

Khabib won the lightweight title against Iaquinta in April 2018 after Tony Ferguson withdrew through injury and his replacement Max Holloway was deemed medically unfit on weigh-in day.

However, he went on to mount successful defences against McGregor, Dustin Poirier and Gaethje before hanging up his gloves with a 29-0 record.

Jones improved to 26-1, with one no contest, by defeating Dominick Reyes last February, setting a UFC record with his 14th title fight win.

Khabib Nurmagomedov is officialy the UFC's number one pound-for-pound fighter and is proud to have achieved the "work of my life".

After submitting Justin Gaethje in the second round to unify the lightweight division and extend his unbeaten mixed martial arts record to 29-0 at UFC 254 on Saturday, Khabib announced his immediate retirement.

The Russian was emotional in the Octagon as he confirmed he would not return due to the death of his father and coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov in July, having promised his mother the fight with Gaethje would be his last.

Following his latest victory, Khabib said: "There is only one thing I want from UFC, to put me as the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world because I deserve it."

Khabib took to Instagram to express his pride at that request becoming a reality on Tuesday, as he moved above former light-heavyweight king Jon Jones into top spot.

"It was [the] work of my life, I never got anything easy, and nothing was given to me because I'm [a] nice guy," he wrote.

"Hard work, hope for Allah and patience, these three ingredients help me to get success, and of course, control and advice from my father, who invested in me a lot of time and work."

Khabib also posted an image of an X-ray showing he had a broken bone in his left foot less than three weeks before taking on Gaethje, making his success all the more remarkable.

The win enhanced the 32-year-old's claim to be considered the greatest UFC fighter of all time, but Jones does not share that opinion.

In a video posted on Instagram on Monday, Jones said: "I'm talking to all you Khabib fans out there; 15 world titles, to your guy's four, and you guys are really talking about who's the best fighter ever. You guys are joking right?

"The only person that could possibly come back and challenge my record and what I've done in the UFC is possibly Georges St-Pierre.

"He would have to come back and win two championship fights to tie me. And I'm not even retired yet. I'm 33 years old. I've got a whole other chapter to go through.

"And all you guys that are going with this 'he's more dominant' argument, the guy just recently started fighting elite level competition. Can you imagine me against the 10th-ranked guy?"

Conor McGregor was among a host of UFC greats to take to social media to congratulate Khabib Nurmagomedov after the lightweight champion announced his retirement.

Khabib was fighting at UFC 254 for the first time since the death of his father and coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov in July following complications with coronavirus.

The Russian dominated interim champ Justin Gaethje with a second-round technical submission in Abu Dhabi to unify the division but then revealed it would be his last bout.

Khabib, who is 29-0, said he had promised his mother he would not continue his career without his father.

As the UFC reeled from the news, a number of its leading names sent messages to Khabib - including rival McGregor.

"Good performance @TeamKhabib," he wrote. "I will carry on.

"Respect and condolences on your father again also. To you and family. Yours sincerely, The McGregors."

Jon Jones, described by Dana White as "the greatest ever", added his best wishes, writing: "I want to congratulate Khabib for an outstanding career.

"I know he made his father along with millions of fans around the world incredibly proud today. May God continue to bless him on his journey."

Daniel Cormier said: "Congratulations to the greatest champion in @ufc history.

"What a career, we are forever grateful for the time we got to spend with you my brother. 29-0 undefeated and undisputed."

Jon Jones said he has vacated his UFC light heavyweight belt in a social media post on Monday.

Jones – widely regarded as one of the greatest mixed martial arts fighters – previously announced in May that he was giving up his UFC title amid a pay dispute.

But the 33-year-old American star, who has been champion since December 2018 and boasts a 26-1-0 MMA record – wrote via Twitter: "Just got off the phone with @UFC, today I confirm that I'm vacating the light heavyweight championship.

"It's officially up for grabs. It's been an amazing journey, sincere thank you to all my competition, UFC and most importantly you fans."

However, Jones then tweeted two hours later: "Just had a really positive conversation with @UFC.

"Sounds like there will be negotiations for my next fight at heavy weight. All good news, the weight gaining process begins."

Jones has not fought since his unanimous decision win against Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 in February.

"In good faith I will be staying in the testing pool for probably the next half year or so," he added. "I'll continue to lift weights and train all the different martial arts."

So that's it. Daniel Cormier, a two-weight UFC champion, has entered the Octagon for the final time.

Stipe Miocic claimed a unanimous-decision win at UFC 252 in Las Vegas on Saturday, edging a bruising contest to retain the heavyweight championship.

"It sucks, being on the losing end of two big fights and trilogies - it's a very sad position to be in," said Cormier. "But I will deal with it as I've dealt with things in the past.

"I'm not interested in fighting for anything but titles, and I don't imagine there's going to be a title in the future, so that'll be it for me. I've had a long run, it's been great."

The 41-year-old has certainly left a lasting mark on mixed martial arts and so, to mark the end of a memorable career, we take a look back at some of his highs and lows.

LOW: Jones keeps Cormier at bay

Cormier's first attempt at claiming a UFC championship did not go to plan. The former amateur wrestler had an unbeaten 15-0 record when he took on Jon Jones but was beaten by unanimous decision.

The conquered Cormier would never get his revenge against Jones. The pair met again in 2017 with Jones this time winning via knockout, although the result was later overturned as the winner tested positive for steroid metabolite turinabol.

HIGH: DC seizes light heavyweight chance

Cormier had been preparing to face Ryan Bader later in 2015 when news broke of Jones being stripped of his championship and suspended indefinitely after facing felony charges. The title was suddenly vacant and it was not an opportunity Cormier was going to pass up this time.

He saw off Anthony Johnson to seize the belt in May, recovering from an early overhand right that put him on the canvas.

HIGH: First title defence a classic

Hanging onto that light heavyweight belt would prove far from straightforward, Cormier quickly found. His first defence came against Alexander Gustafsson in a gripping encounter in October of the same year.

The entertaining bout went to a split decision in Cormier's favour, although the victor admitted afterwards: "I feel pretty beat up. This is the worst that I've ever been beat."

HIGH: Stipe stopped to top heavyweight division

Cormier was still the light heavyweight king in July 2018 when he sought to become a two-weight champion by taking on Miocic, then in possession of the heavyweight belt, for the first time.

He got his wish in ruthless fashion, dropping Miocic with his right elbow and completing the job on the ground late in the first round, becoming then just the second UFC star - after Conor McGregor - to simultaneously possess titles at two weights.

LOW: Miocic soon makes amends

An initial title defence was successful against Derrick Lewis, but Cormier - who relinquished his light heavyweight championship in December 2018 - then met Miocic again in August of last year. Cormier was ahead on all of the scorecards in the fourth round but an effective barrage of punches swiftly ended his reign.

It was that reverse that led Cormier to Saturday's trilogy fight for the final chapter of a storied career.

Jon Jones said he was giving up his UFC light heavyweight championship amid a pay dispute.

Jones, 32, was seemingly nearing a fight with heavyweight Francis Ngannou before saying UFC did not want to pay him enough.

UFC president Dana White accused Jones of wanting what Deontay Wilder was paid for his WBC heavyweight showdown with Tyson Fury.

Asked on Sunday if he was revoking his title, Jones replied to a Twitter user: "Yes."

"To the light heavyweight title Veni, vidi, vici," he wrote, a Latin phrase meaning I came, I saw, I conquered.

Jones (26-1) last fought in February, beating Dominick Reyes to defend his UFC title.

Jon Jones once again told Dana White to release him from his contract after the UFC boss hit back at the light-heavyweight champion.

White suggested Jones asked for $30million for a 'superfight' with Francis Ngannou, matching a figure heavyweight boxer Deontay Wilder reportedly received for his last fight with Tyson Fury.

Jones denied making such demands, but UFC president White told reporters in Las Vegas he would have no reason to lie.

Yet Jones later took to social media to fire back at White, urging him to put his money where his mouth is.

Jones tweeted: "The reporter asked Dana to show the text messages instead he gives a 55 second response talking about why would I lie.

"At no point did I ever demand anything from you Dana, I simply asked for a Super Fight and asked to be compensated for it.

"You are the one who started talking negotiations publicly and showing the world how much you’ve been withholding from your athletes this whole time.

"Hunter [Campbell, White's lawyer] and I had a very respectful conversation, I love how you're trying to paint this picture of me being some angry guy disrespectfully demanding money. And then bringing up my out of the cage affairs to justify under paying me by tens of millions for years.

"You’re talking all that big guy stuff about not caring, put your money where your mouth is and release me from that contract."

White earlier cut a frustrated figure after he was again asked about Jones.

White said on Saturday night: "[Jones] had a great talk yesterday with Hunter, my lawyer, who's really close to Jon Jones and likes him. They have a good relationship. They had a good talk yesterday. It is what it is. I really don't care. I couldn't care less, to be honest with you.

"He can do whatever he wants to do. He can sit out. He can fight. He can do whatever.

"Being the greatest of all-time doesn't mean you get $30million. Being able to sell does. Jon Jones has done a lot of things to himself. In one of his tweets, he was saying I tarnished him. I tarnished you? You've done a very good job of tarnishing you. I haven't done that."

White added: "Hunter told him. You can come in and walk through the numbers. 'I'll walk you through the numbers.' And he says, 'I don’t give a f*** what the numbers are. I want what I want, and that's it.' That's not how life works."

Jon Jones has called for Dana White to release him from his UFC contract after insisting he never asked for "Deontay Wilder's numbers" for his next fight.

White claimed light-heavyweight champion Jones had asked for $30million in order to step up to heavyweight and face contender Francis Ngannou, a figure similar to that made by boxer Wilder for his second heavyweight title bout against Tyson Fury.

UFC president White added to reporters: "We have text messages from Jon Jones. It's not like I can't prove what I'm saying is true.

"But I'm not going to put his text messages out in the press. I could."

Jones was not impressed, however, and insisted he never made such demands as he responded to White on Twitter.

"If you're going to stick to these lies, I'm going to stick to defending myself," he wrote. "Please have your lawyer Hunter Campbell release those text messages.

"Don't be a f***ing liar, my reputation has already taking enough hits. I don't need this bulls*** Dana.

"I never asked for Diante [sic] Wilder's numbers. And how about since Diante is making 30 million, we settle for half of that. Since you said I'm the goat and everything.

"I don't even make half of half of what Diante Wilder makes.

"If my reputation causes you to undervalue me this much. Just go ahead and release me from my @Ufc contract altogether.

"I'm sure some promoter somewhere will be more than happy to pick me up.

"And if I wanted to compare money to someone else, I would compare money to my brothers [former NFL defensive lineman Arthur and Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler].

"I see first hand the way the NFL treats their champion athletes, there's a huge difference. I've kept my mouth shut my entire career."

Khabib Nurmagomedov branded Conor McGregor the "greatest UFC fighter in Twitter history" in response to his rival's GOAT list posted on social media.

Former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion McGregor revealed his top four on Saturday, putting Anderson Silva at number one but making clear the Brazilian has some stiff competition to be considered the greatest - from the Irishman himself, of course.

"My array of finishes, across 3 divisions, with champion status in 2, I'm No.2. If not tied 1," McGregor wrote on Twitter. "However [I'm] still active, No.1 is fully secured by career end. And easily."

Georges St-Pierre and Jon Jones also made the list, but there was no place for undefeated lightweight champion Khabib.

Asked to explain the Russian's absence, McGregor replied: "Fancy record but a way to go before any GOAT entry.

"Only HL [highlight] is win over me with hangover and broken foot. Other than that, made Iaquinta's career with bad performance before Cerrone ended it again. 3rds to get Poirier out. 0 array of finishes. Bottled many bouts. Zero else of note."

Khabib, who defeated McGregor by submission at UFC 229 in 2018, countered with a tweet of his own, pointing out what he perceives to be fundamental flaws in McGregor's own case.

"You tapped out in featherweight, you tapped out in lightweight and you tapped in welterweight," Khabib wrote.

"You never defended title in the UFC or Cage Warriors, you gave up more than GSP, Spider and Bones all together. You greatest UFC fighter in Twitter history."

Jones also got involved in the debate, putting up a list of fighters to have the most wins in UFC title bouts - with McGregor obviously not among them - along with the comment: "Goat where you at."

The light-heavyweight champion also later quote-tweeted Khabib's post, adding: "Like I said I’ll let the fans do the debating for me, thanks Khabib."

Conor McGregor believes Anderson Silva is the greatest MMA fighter of all time but expects to surpass the Brazilian by the end of his career.

Former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion McGregor explained who he considers to be the best to have stepped into the Octagon.

The outspoken Irishman ranked himself second to former middleweight king Silva, though he clarified he would be top of the list if failed drug tests were taken into account.

McGregor also included former welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre and light-heavyweight title-holder Jon Jones in his rankings.

He posted on Twitter: "The array of finishes, across 2 divisions, with champion status in 1, Anderson Silva is No.1 MMA GOAT.

"My array of finishes, across 3 divisions, with champion status in 2, I'm No.2. If not tied 1.

"However [I'm] still active, No.1 is fully secured by career end. And easily.

"GSP [St-Pierre] is in at 3. Much less array of finishes but champion status in 2. He is far behind though. Reasons = Left 170[lb division] after much damage taken + questionable decision. Never re-engaged 170lb successors. Bottled Anderson fight. Only moved [to middleweight] when one-eyed fighter [Michael Bisping] presented. Played safe.

"Jon is 4. Maybe tied 3. More array of finishes than 3 and still active, but champion status in just 1. Reasons = Multiple lacklustre decision performances + questionable decision win. Attempting to safe play HW [heavyweight] entry/avoiding its champion."

McGregor added: "I didn't mentions PED results on multiple entrants, even though that makes me the clear current No.1 MMA GOAT, along with still being active.

"Although it shames, as well as puts all runs+finishes in complete doubt, I've snored multiple juice heads. A true GOAT must do it all.

"Clarity on Silva's earlier no.1 spot. Most stylistic finishes on resume. Front kicks to face. Up elbow (albeit outside UFC) Thai plum knees leading to broken facial bones. Long list of jaw dropping finishes. Myself/Anderson have the most exciting/important finishes in the sport!

"One more on George/Jon decision that will clear why I originally gave George 3 and Jon 4 before a maybe tied 3. A lot of Jon's opponents were Anderson's 185lb opponents but the array of stoppages were not there, or nowhere near Anderson's despite the weight advantage to do so."

Jon Jones made history when he defeated Dominick Reyes earlier this year, but their meeting was not without controversy.

Light-heavyweight king Jones won his 14th UFC title fight in the February bout in Houston, one more than Georges St-Pierre's tally of 13.

But the verdict of the judges to score the bout unanimously for Jones was one that rankled with Reyes - and many fans felt the 30-year-old had a valid point.

So, while all-time great Jones scored the victory, there is a school of thought that he still has questions to answer against Reyes.

That is why the two are the subject of the fourth in our series on UFC rematches we want to see.


Prior to the bout with Reyes, Jones had been unconvincing in a split-decision win over Thiago Santos last July.

He did not exactly fire on all cylinders early doors against Reyes either, with Jones' decision to try and stay on his feet, rather than go for takedowns, a surprise to many.

Jones eventually took Reyes to the mat in the fourth, then came out firing in the fifth as Reyes seemingly thought all he had to do was survive to earn the win.

It was a surprise, therefore, when Jones was scored a 48-47, 48-47, 49-46 victory by the judges.


Mainly because it feels like there is another chapter to this story.

Reyes will feel he is deserving of a rematch and most would agree; UFC president Dana White has openly said he likes the idea of the two going up against each other again.

At light-heavyweight, there is not exactly a plethora of options around for Jones - why not dance again with Reyes, then?


No. Given only three months has passed since their first bout, neither has been in action.

Any plans to get back in the Octagon have also been complicated by the coronavirus pandemic, which saw UFC temporarily suspend operations before resuming behind closed doors.


As is so often the case in the fight game, the money needs to be right.

Jones has said he is willing to give Reyes another shot at the belt for the right price. There is certainly a desire from Reyes, while a rematch has the backing of White. The outlook suggests there is a good chance it unfolds at some stage in the future.


It is a tricky one to call. However, an athlete with the fight IQ of Jones - one of the undoubted greats - is unlikely to make the same mistakes second time around.

Jon Jones accepted "full responsibility" after reaching a plea deal in his case for driving while intoxicated.

The UFC light heavyweight champion entered a guilty plea to a charge relating to an incident in New Mexico on March 26.

Jones will avoid jail time but must reportedly serve 96 hours in a community custody program similar to house arrest.

The 32-year-old is also said to have accepted outpatient therapy and a fine after agreeing a deal with prosecutors, which saw other charges against Jones dropped. 

A statement released via Jones' publicist read: "While we all work to understand and cope with stress and uncertainties surrounding the current state of our world, I want to express how truly disappointed I am that I have become the source of a negative headline again, especially during these trying times. 

"I am disappointed for letting down the people I care about the most – my family, friends and my fans. 

"This morning I entered into a plea deal with the Albuquerque DA's office. I accept full responsibility for my actions, and I know that I have some personal work to do to which involves the unhealthy relationship I have with.

"I have dedicated so much time and energy to improve my community, and I will not allow this personal setback to hinder my work within the community when we need it most. 

"I truly appreciate the support I have received from the community of Albuquerque and all my fans around the world. 

"I very much look forward to putting this behind me. Thank you all for your continued love and support and please take care of yourselves."

Jon Jones' name will forever be mentioned among the pantheon of MMA greats but the chance to cement his legacy by beating heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic is one that must be enticing.

In a career that notes just one defeat, and even that has an asterisk next to it given it was a contentious disqualification loss to Matt Hamill back in December 2009, Jones has fair claims to call himself the greatest of all time.

The UFC light heavyweight champion has defeated all before him in the division and many are now clamouring for him to step up in weight.

That would present the intriguing possibility of a showdown with Miocic, a man who has forged his own reputation as a fearsome competitor in UFC.

In the fourth edition of our UFC dream fights we would love to see series, we have profiled Jones and Miocic's records in the Octagon.


Jones was not entirely convincing in his previous two title defences against Thiago Santos and Dominick Reyes and rematches with either man, particularly the latter, should not be discounted.

But in truth there is little else for 'Bones' to accomplish at light heavyweight and if the opportunity to fight for a second belt arises it is one he should grasp.

Miocic, 37, has wins over the likes of Daniel Cormier, Francis Ngannou and Junior Dos Santos on his resume and would be a mouth-watering opponent for Jones.


Where do you even start with Jones' achievements? He has simply dominated at light heavyweight and holds UFC records in the division for most title defences, most wins, longest win streak and most submission wins. There is little wonder Jones' name is at the top of most people's pound-for-pound greatest.

Miocic is a two-time UFC heavyweight champion, first winning the strap off Fabricio Werdum in May 2016 and defeating Cormier in a rematch for the belt last August. No other heavyweight has more consecutive title defences than Miocic's three.


Jones: 26-1-0

Miocic: 19-3-0



Age: 32
Height: 6'4" (193cm)
Weight: 205lbs (93kg)
Reach: 84"
Leg Reach: 45"


Age: 37
Height: 6'4" (193cm)
Weight: 240lbs (109kg)
Reach: 80"
Leg Reach: 39"


Jones said in an interview with UFC in February: "If the UFC comes to me and offers me a big title fight against Stipe for big dollars, I'm obviously going to take that. I'm always getting thrown in with greatest fighters of all-time. I think the reason it's even an argument is because I haven't secured a second belt. Once I do that, it won't be much of an argument anymore."

Miocic told FloCombat: "Listen, I'll fight anyone. If the UFC wants me to fight Jon, I'll fight him. I'm the baddest man on the planet for a reason. He can think what he wants, whatever. Listen, at the end of the day I am relevant."



- Jones has landed 1,463 of the 2,526 significant strikes he has attempted, giving him a success rate of 58 per cent.

- The 32-year-old has attempted 95 takedowns, completing 44 per cent.

- He has blocked a sensational 95 per cent of takedown attempts from his opponents, and guarded against 64 per cent of significant strikes.

- Jones lands on average 4.3 significant strikes per minute and absorbs 2.22.


- Of the 1,621 significant strikes Miocic has attempted, 843 have landed (a 52 per cent success rate).

- Miocic has defended 57 per cent of such strikes against him, and seen off 73 per cent of takedown attempts.

- The majority of his strikes come from a standing position (576, 68 per cent).

- In terms of grappling, Miocic has completed 25 of 66 takedowns.

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