Jon Jones had some choice words for Francis Ngannou after he parted ways with the UFC before the two could face off, as well as a bold prediction for a potential title fight with Stipe Miocic
If people didn't do it before, they can now certainly make the claim that Jon Jones is the greatest to have ever competed in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts after he submitted Ciryl Gane to capture the UFC heavyweight championship.
It was Jones's first fight at heavyweight in his MMA career — after dominating the light heavyweight scene for most of the 2010s — and his first fight in three years.
Of course, Gane wasn't always meant to be the one that Jones would have his long-awaited heavyweight debut against — nor was Jones vs. Gane the one that most fans and pundits wanted to see for such an occasion.
For a good part of three years, there had been rumors of Jones facing Francis Ngannou in what would have been a super showdown with some potential gold on the line.
As Jones looked to finally make the jump up in weight in 2020, and the future of the Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier rivalry in question during the COVID pandemic, the two flirted the idea of a fight, potentially for an interim championship.
The two would end up in bitter, tense negotiations with the UFC, and the fight never came to fruition. While Jones resolved his issues, Ngannou — who ended up winning the heavyweight title at UFC 260 and made a defense against Gane at UFC 270 — couldn't come to terms with the promotion, and the two parted ways in January, with Ngannou vacating the belt in the process.
Jon Jones takes shots at Francis Ngannou and Stipe Miocic after winning vacant heavyweight title at UFC 285
Ngannou posted a tweet following Jones's win, seemingly giving Jones a backhanded compliment while claiming to still be the best heavyweight in MMA.
Jones didn't mince his words in response at the post-fight press conference.
"Francis is a big old p****," Jones said. "I love that quote. I love it. All that muscle with a big a** p****."
But Ngannou wasn't the only one on the receiving end of Jones's taunts.
Jones also used his mic time to comment on Stipe Miocic, the two-time UFC heavyweight champion, who has been considered the greatest UFC heavyweight of all time.
With Jones winning and Ngannou out of the picture, it appears Miocic will be next in line for a shot at the gold, with even the UFC teasing that the two could potentially face off in the main event of July's UFC 290 during International Fight Week.
Miocic hasn't fought since losing the title to Ngannou two years ago, but his long patience has seemed to pay off. It happened after he lost the title to Daniel Cormier — and Cormier's negotiations for a fight with Brock Lesnar fell through — and now it appears to be happening again.
But Jones warns Miocic, who also works as a firefighter at the Westlake Fire Department in Ohio, that he should be fully focused on MMA if he wants to put up a true fight.
"I say it respectfully to Stipe: I would take time off from being a firefighter right now," Jones said. "I mean that with all due respect. My whole world is going to be focused on him. This is the biggest opportunity in my life — to beat the heavyweight GOAT. And I'm going to give it everything I've got. Absolutely everything I've got.
"Stipe's talking about the fact that he's heavier than me right now. His head is already in the wrong spot if he thinks weightlifting is going to beat me. He'll never be younger than he is right now, he'll never be faster. I'm not only going to beat Stipe Miocic, I'm going to finish Stipe Miocic before the championship rounds."