Once Francis Ngannou wiped out Stipe Miocic via brutal second-round knockout in the main event of UFC 260, attention for many immediately turned to the idea of Ngannou defending his new belt against all-time great Jon Jones. The former light heavyweight champion appeared to be thinking the same thing.
After initially tweeting "Let's play baby," Jones deleted the tweet and replaced it with a more business-minded approach, telling the UFC, "Show me the money."
Asked about the situation at the UFC 260 post-fight press conference, White joked, "If I'm Jon Jones and I'm home watching this fight, I start thinking of moving to 185."
Jones vacated the light heavyweight championship in 2020, a move made in preparation for his debut at heavyweight. After dominating the 205-pound ranks since first winning the title in March 2011, many have anticipated Jones' jump to heavyweight, a move that could further define his legacy as the greatest fighter in the history of mixed martial arts.
Jones has been packing on weight to bulk up for his new division, something he pointed out in response to White's statement, tweeting, "Go to 185? I didn't gain all this weight for no reason."
White was updated to that tweet during the press conference, making it clear that it would just take one phone call to UFC executive vice president Hunter Campbell to make it happen.
"I like it," White said. "That sounds serious then, Jon. Call Hunter right now. We can make that fight right now, Jon. Call Hunter right now."
Can't get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news.
Despite the potential excitement of Jones vs. Ngannou for the championship, White would not fully commit to it being the fight for the heavyweight division, instead locking in on Derrick Lewis, who beat Ngannou in a strange 2018 fight that saw the two sluggers refuse to engage in the expected fireworks.
"Derrick Lewis is the fight to make, but if Jon Jones really wants that fight -- it's one thing to say you put on the weight and all that," White said. "I promise you, we can call Derrick Lewis and one of these other heavyweights and they want the fight. If Jon Jones really wants the fight, he can do his call in and get the fight."
Conor McGregor wants big money, it’s expected. Jon Jones wants money, now he’s scare.— BONY (@JonnyBones) March 28, 2021
Ngannou also addressed the idea of fighting Jones when asked during his post-fight interview, suggesting he'd be up to the challenge whenever Jones was interested, but delivering a warning to the legend.
"For my opinion, Jon Jones is the greatest of all time for mixed martial arts," Ngannou said. "Him moving up is going to be a good thing. He's a challenge I will take and will be very good on my resume. But this time he will be the challenger, I'm the champ. He's coming up looking for me. I will be here ready to fight in July or August."
Jones may have delivered the most direct statement on the likelihood of the fight happening with one final tweet.
"If anyone is wondering if I really want to fight, the answer is yes," Jones tweeted. "I also really want to get paid."