Good morning, MMA fans! Welcome to the MMA News Tracker! Here are some of the latest happenings across the world of MMA.
Dana White: Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic Was Never A Thing
After months of speculation about Jon Jones’ heavyweight debut being against Stipe Miocic at UFC 282, Dana White not only officially ruled out Jones/Miocic being in the works, but he claimed the fight was never planned at all. He did, however, confirm that Jones will return to action in early 2023.
“Jon Jones will fight next year for sure,” White said at the UFC 281 post-fight press conference. “Yeah, we never had a Stipe/Jon Jones fight. He’s gonna fight next year.”
White would then confirm who would be Jones’ preferred opponent, which is none other than reigning champion Francis Ngannou.
Will Francis Ngannou Be Waiting For Jon Jones?
“Maybe Jon Jones, if we get things sorted out,” Ngannou said in a podcast with Joe Pompliano. “Because this contract situation hasn’t been sorted.”
Ngannou would then go on to elaborate on the difficulties in having equitable negotiations with the UFC.
“I ran into Dana earlier and we were pretty cool, but my relationship with Dana was very good at the beginning until I mentioned something about the fighter contract. And not on purpose, I think I said something like ‘Oh we can negotiate after every fight.’ That wasn’t even in public. Just in a room the two of us. But I didn’t know how big the mistake to say you can negotiate.
“When you think about it, it’s a business that’s built on holding, controlling people, and you say you can negotiate after every fight?” he continued. “No, that’s when everything went south. The contract that I had was the contract that I signed five years ago. Usually almost nobody stays in the contract five years. It’s just to hold you, to have control.
“After a year and a half, two years, they’ll come to re-negotiate and add double. But they know by the time they come to double, your value is like five times what it is. So they always have a step on you and you can’t say no because if you say no, you still have years in that contract and you’re probably running out of money.
“They know what they’re doing, it’s business,” he continued. “And then you will sign, and when you sign, it kicks off from the beginning again. So every time you sign a contract you’ll find yourself tied down three years, four years. So if they come and say ‘We’re giving you a new deal, we like you, we’re going to do this for you, take this contract next,’ I said ‘Damn I was gonna fight for $100,000, this is $200,000, how cool is that?’ And you sign. Most people are excited about it.”
White confirmed at the UFC 281 post-fight press conference that Ngannou’s contract situation has not been worked out. It should be noted that, according to previous reports, Ngannou would be a free agent at the end of the year if he does not come to terms with the UFC.
If that holds true, then that leaves the UFC and Francis Ngannou with less than two months to get the contract situation “settled” so that a Jones vs. Ngannou fight can become a reality.
Calvin Kattar Set To Undergo Surgery
In an Instagram post published on Saturday, #7-ranked featherweight Calvin Kattar revealed that he tore his ACL in his loss to Arnold Allen at UFC Vegas 63 last month.
He is currently set to undergo surgery soon and is targeting a return at the end of 2023. Get well soon, Calvin.
Chimaev Wants Title Fight, White Says Otherwise
Finally, Khamzat Chimaev had plenty to say during and after Alex Pereira’s victory over Israel Adesanya in the UFC 281 main event. Here is what the hungry wolf had to say about the fight:
“This is my belt. Let me fight @ufc”
“Let me fight with this guy, 1 (round) finish him.”
“Ready to fight in Brazil @AlexPereiraUFC let’s go champ.”
Dana White Reveals Other Plans For Chimaev
Despite Chimaev’s hungry callout for the Brazilian, Dana White confirmed at the UFC 281 post-fight press conference the previous reports that it is a fight against Colby Covington that the UFC is actively working on.
The good news for the Borz is that this is another fight that he has been requesting for quite some time, as recently as the end of September.
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