Jon Jones, the current UFC Heavyweight Champion, continues to claim Francis Ngannou bailed on a match.
Ngannou's announcement on May 17th that he had signed an exclusive multi-fight contract with the PFL has stunned the MMA community. After a turbulent finale to his UFC career, the deal brings an abrupt stop to his free agency.
After Ngannou left the UFC, the organisation took away his heavyweight title. When Jones defeated Ciryl Gane at UFC 285 in March, the belt was finally his.
Prior to Jones vs. Gane, it appeared that Jones and Ngannou would square off in the following heavyweight bout. Ngannou and the UFC eventually split up because they couldn't agree on virtually anything.
Despite Jones winning the heavyweight belt, Ngannou still has a negative influence on the division he formerly ruled. Ngannou declared himself to be the "baddest man on the planet" in a video message that was uploaded to his YouTube page upon the announcement of his PFL contract.
In a recent tweet, Jones had a less-than-supportive message for Ngannou after he signed with the PFL.
"Calling yourself the baddest man on the planet from across the street, who does that? Lol." Jones tweeted.
It didn't take long for Ngannou to issue an eerie response to Jones.
Eric Nicksick, Ngannou's MMA trainer, reportedly asserted that a defeat against Jones would have resulted in a significant pay decrease for Ngannou. He listed it as one of many obstacles that Ngannou and the UFC encountered during their unsuccessful negotiations.
Later this year, Jones is anticipated to take on Stipe Miocic in his first heavyweight title defence. At UFC 260, Ngannou defeated Miocic to win the title, which he then defended against Gane.