Francis Ngannou may not be fighting in the UFC anymore, but he's still keeping a close eye on his division—especially now that a new champion has been crowned—especially with the recent Saturday night event.
After quickly dispatching Ciryl Gane at UFC 285 with a lightning-quick submission, free agent Ngannou witnessed Jon Jones' coronation.
The former champion acknowledges he wasn't very shocked by Jones' victory. Yet he was surprised at how quickly the brawl came to an end.
“I knew that if Jones showed up in a good space mentally, not like his last two fights, he’s going to prevail in this fight,” Ngannou said on his YouTube channel. “I didn’t see this fight [being] so short. I think this fight could have been longer. I was surprised the way that the fight ended.
“I think even seeing Ciryl’s reaction, he was surprised as well, because he wasn’t even defending. He wasn’t thinking that a submission would come from where he was at. That was quite a great performance from Jones.”
“Not very surprising, because I knew if I could outwrestle Ciryl, Jon would be another story,” Ngannou said. “He would have a hard night if Jon would lay hands on him.
Although the speed of the fight surprised Ngannou, he anticipated Jones to have better grappling. He won a unanimous decision over Gane in his own five-round fight in January 2021 by dominating the second half of the fight with takedowns and ground dominance.
Ngannou praised Jones on Twitter after his victory and added that, despite not having the belt, he was still the heavyweight king. Jones responded by calling him a "big ol' p****".