Warning issued by UFC champ Jon Jones to Francis Ngannou at PFL main event: “You don’t want no smoke”

Francis Ngannou and Jon Jones, two prominent heavyweight fighters, unexpectedly crossed paths for the first time since their highly anticipated UFC showdown fell apart. The encounter took place at a PFL event, resulting in an awkward interaction between the fighters.

Ngannou graced the OTE Arena in Atlanta as a distinguished guest, having followed in the footsteps of boxing champion Deontay Wilder, who made an appearance the previous week.

Meanwhile, Jones found himself in the city to support his teammate Maurice Greene, who was scheduled to compete against Ante Delija in the second round of regular season fights.


Both Francis and Jon ran into each other at the cage side shortly after Greene’s unanimous decision defeat against Ante Delija.

What conversation did Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou have?

It marked the first time they found themselves in the same room since Ngannou’s sensational departure from the UFC. Earlier the Cameroonian was actually supposed to be the one to welcome ‘Bones’ back in the premier fighting promotion.

Despite their history, their encounter was relatively civil, although tensions were visibly present. During the commercial break, as Greene awaited the decision of his fight with Delija. Jon and Francis engaged in taunting banter.

The fighters playfully filmed each other on their mobile phones before engaging in a lengthy staredown right beside the technologically advanced cage. Some heated words were exchanged between the two, with Jones suggesting that Ngannou was not ready to face him.

While Francis urged Jon to secure his release from the UFC so they could settle their differences inside the PFL cage. The verbal sparring between the fighters added fuel to the anticipation surrounding a potential future showdown.

“Tell your daddy [Dana White, UFC president] to release you so we can get this on,” Ngannou told his rival. “Respect, I want this fight to happen over here or over there.” To which Jones replied “You don’t want no smoke. We’ll see.”

Jon Jones

Ngannou then taunted Jones for sitting out for three years before making his move to heavyweight. He declared that perhaps his rival was the greatest at 205lb, but that he was the best at heavyweight.

Will we ever see Jon Jones vs Francis Ngannou?

Interestingly, both fighters have set their sights on crossover bouts with boxing sensation Tyson Fury. Fury claims that the UFC has extended an offer for a hybrid fight against Jones. Further fueling the anticipation surrounding potential matchups involving these formidable fighters.

Ngannou secured the belt by delivering a knockout blow to Stipe Miocic in 2021. He successfully defended the title despite suffering from a significant injury, against his once training partner Ciryl Gane.

Francis Ngannou

Both the PFL, which now serves as Ngannou’s new fighting home and the UFC are broadcast on ESPN in America. The same network also showcases Fury’s boxing matches under the Top Rank Boxing banner.

Despite fervent fan interest in witnessing an undisputed heavyweight champion emerge from such matchups. It is expected that UFC President Dana White would prohibit such fights from taking place.

What are your thoughts regarding a potential Ngannou vs Jones bout? Let us know in the comment section below.

Sami Haider

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Sami Haider is a UFC/boxing journalist who connects combat sports to pop culture. His deep passion for the UFC started in 2018, triggered by the UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor fight. He is a passionate writer who has a profound love for the sport and the skills that are used in it. Through his work, Sami aspires to connect combat sportsmen and their enthusiastic fans.


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