Aljamain Sterling Discusses Interaction Between HW's

June 22, 2023

Athlete Studio

Even though Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou are currently affiliated with separate promotional organizations, discussions surrounding a potential high-profile clash in the heavyweight division show no signs of fading away in the near future.

Since Ngannou's departure from the UFC in January and Jones's subsequent triumph over Ciryl Gane to claim the throne, the two fighters have engaged in a consistent exchange of words, trading verbal blows back and forth.

Following various interactions on social media and through interviews, "The Predator" and "Bones" had their long-awaited encounter last week at the recent Professional Fighters League event in Atlanta. Jones, who was in the corner of his teammate Maurice Greene, finally came face-to-face with Ngannou.

During their long-anticipated interaction, both individuals reaffirmed their previous positions. The former UFC heavyweight champion emphasized his willingness to fight Jones even during his three-year hiatus, while the current titleholder reiterated the need to significantly increase his weight in order to step into the cage with Ngannou.

Since the encounter, numerous influential figures in MMA have shared their perspectives, and a current UFC champion is of the opinion that Ngannou emerged as the victor in the exchange.

In a recent installment of The Weekly Scraps podcast on his YouTube channel, Aljamain Sterling, the reigning UFC champion in the 135-pound division, offered his analysis of the widely shared confrontation between Ngannou and Jones.

Acknowledging that both individuals raised valid points during their brief exchange, "Funk Master" expressed his support for "The Predator" when assigning responsibility for the prolonged absence of their highly anticipated bout from the UFC Octagon.

"Jon Jones, Francis Ngannou. Who is really the king of Wakanda?" Sterling said. "What I don't like is that it took three years for Jon to get here, respectfully. When they had the faceoff, he brought that up. Ngannou said, "I've been here waiting for you for three years.' I'm like, you got a point there, you have a very valid point. And then Jon said, 'I needed three years to get big enough to kick your ass.' And I was like, you got a point there too.

"I kinda lean towards Francis (Ngannou). I'm like, he's older. Three years later, he's even older now. Yeah, now you've made the playing field equal, but you've got youth on your side versus the older guy, and you had more time to rest," Sterling continued. "Taking three years off, coming back and dominating, I feel like Jon could've done that literally with less than a year of bulking up... I think he's that damn good that he could've done that."

At present, it seems highly unlikely that the Ngannou vs. Jones fight will materialize unless the UFC undergoes a significant change in its position on cross-promotional events. However, considering the optimistic projections of individuals like Israel Adesanya, who foresees a future UFC comeback for "The Predator," there may still be a glimmer of hope.

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