Francis Ngannou will be watching the UFC 285 main event closely, but believes the label that will be attached to the winner will have empty meaning.
After his recent release from the promotion due to failed negotiations, the undisputed UFC heavyweight title Ngannou held is now vacant. However, it will be claimed at UFC 285 when former light heavyweight champ Jon Jones takes on former interim heavyweight champ Ciryl Gane.
The bout will be Jones’ debut in the heavyweight division, which brings a lot of intrigue to the contest beyond the crowning of a new heavyweight champion. Ngannou is interested as well, and despite his departure from the promotion, will be watching the fight intently. However, the winner will be called the “undisputed” champion, a term that Ngannou does not agree with.
“I want to share my excitement for the heavyweight fight between Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane,” Ngannou said on his YouTube channel. “It’s going to be a very exciting fight. I’m going to be watching that fight. But we all know the term undisputed means nothing here. Yes, it really means nothing. But I will still be excited watching that fight.”
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Since Ngannou never lost his title inside the octagon, there will be plenty of “what if” questions surrounding the heavyweight division before and after the pay-per-view event at T-Mobile arena on March 4. How would Ngannou vs. Jones play out? What if Gane got another crack at Ngannou? These are just a couple of questions that we may never get the answer to unless Ngannou and the UFC can come to terms on a deal later down the road.
For now, Ngannou is focused on the next steps in his career, which he recognizes as vital. He would like to test his hands in the boxing ring before returning to MMA, but only time will tell how everything plays out. While he goes through the process of navigating his newfound free agency, Ngannou warns that naysayers will attempt to bring his name down.
“Remember, they’re going to be saying a lot of things,” Ngannou stated. “They’re going to be trying to bash me, devalue me. But no matter what, you have to remember who the real king is. The best heavyweight in the world. I’m the best heavyweight in the world, and I don’t care what they say out there. Hey, man. I’m the man, you know? I’m the best. I’m the king.”
Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie