Dana White shuts down Francis Ngannou's demand to face Jon Jones next amid ongoing pay row with UFC great

UFC chief Dana White has shut down Francis Ngannou's plea for his first title defence to be against Jon Jones.

Ngannou, 34, made an immediate beeline for the pound-for-pound king after ripping the heavyweight strap from Stipe Miocic's clutches in March.

A bitter pay dispute between Jones and the UFC brass, however, has seen fan favourite Derrick Lewis move to the front of the queue.

And White is refusing to change his stance, saying: “Derrick Lewis is getting that fight."

The UFC supremo is, however, hopeful of coming to terms with Jones after Ngannou shares the octagon with The Black Beast again.

The veteran promoter, 51, added: “It’s Derrick Lewis’ fight. And Jon Jones, hopefully by then, will be ready for the winner.”

Former long-reigning 205lb king Jones has put on a considerable amount of size ahead of his long-awaited move up to heavyweight.

But White reckons calling it a day might not be a bad idea for Bones, who is considered by many to be the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.


He told TMZ: “That’s up to Jon. He could absolutely fight again at 205 pounds.

"He said he wouldn’t fight Stipe (Miocic), and now Derrick (Lewis) and Francis (Ngannou) are fighting, so we’ll see how that fight plays out.

"There’s nothing wrong with going out on top either – Jon Jones is undefeated, he’s never been beat.

“For those people that don’t know, you see that one loss on his record, he didn’t lose that fight.

"He won that fight in dominant fashion like most of his fights.

"It was a time when the Nevada Athletic Commission was at its weakest, and there was a referee that shouldn’t have been in there, and he stole that fight from Jon Jones.

"So, it wouldn’t be a bad thing for him to go out on top.”

Jones, 33, has shown no sign of hanging up his gloves any time soon, keeping up with his strength and conditioning programme as he bids to become a two-division champion.

But the future UFC Hall-of-Famer recently admitted he could spend another year on the sidelines.

He said: “Honestly, I feel like the only people that it benefits me jumping in their early are the other heavyweights.

“The way I’m training, I’m gonna be a real problem this time next year.

"I’m comfortable enough to wait and that’s exactly what I’ll do.”

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