Francis Ngannou in action against Stipe Miocic during a heavyweight championship mixed martial arts bout at UFC 220, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, in Boston. Miocic retained his title via unanimous decision. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
- Francis Ngannou became the new heavyweight champion at UFC 260
- Is Jon Jones next for Ngannou or the trilogy?
- See the odds for Ngannou’s and Miocic’s next opponent, below
Francis Ngannou showed off all the improvements at UFC 260 he made since he was dominated by Stipe Miocic in 2018 at UFC 220.
Three years after the first fight, Ngannou went on a tear – aside from a lackluster Derrick Lewis fight – but many wanted to see how he would fare in the grappling department this time around against Miocic. Entering the rematch, Ngannou was a slight favorite and proved why, as he stuffed the takedown of Miocic early and actually reversed him. He then landed the power shots, and in the second round, after dropping him with a jab got the KO punch to become the new heavyweight champion.
Now, after the win, odds have been released on who Francis Ngannou’s first title defense is against.
Odds on Who Francis Ngannou Fights Next in 2021
All odds as of March 28
Jon Jones Is Waiting in the Wings
In the lead-up to UFC 260, it was clear the winner of Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou 2 would face Jon Jones next. However, at the post-fight press conference, UFC president, Dana White didn’t think Jones would actually move up after that performance from Ngannou.
Dana White at the post-fight press conference: “If I’m Jon Jones and I’m at home watching this fight, I’m moving down to 185”
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) March 28, 2021
After the fight, Jones was tweeting that the UFC needs to show him the money if he is going to move up in weight, but there is no question that is the fight to make. Jones vs. Ngannou for the heavyweight title in the summer would be one of the biggest fights in UFC history. With the promotion also having events at full capacity in Florida and Texas starting with UFC 261, perhaps the promotion finally gets to AT&T Stadium for this fight.
You need to see this!
📍 Batié, Cameroon
Incredible scenes from the hometown of @Francis_Ngannou as they celebrate the crowning of a new UFC Heavyweight Champion! 🇨🇲
(📽 Mathieu Pennella) pic.twitter.com/NSA57bUsmA
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) March 28, 2021
Jon Jones certainly has the fight IQ and wrestling to make the fight interesting. However, as Ngannou has shown time and time again, he only needs to land one punch to end the fight.
Francis Ngannou’s first title defense should be against Jon Jones in the summer, but if “Bones” turns it down, the rematch with Derrick Lewis will be next.
Pick: Jon Jones (+200)
2021 Stanley Cup Odds Tracker
What’s Next for the Heavyweight GOAT?
Although Stipe Miocic is no longer the UFC’s heavyweight champion, he still is the best heavyweight to ever do it in the UFC and possibly of all-time.
Miocic is a full-time firefighter and has been fighting once a year over the past couple of years. He will need to take time to let his brain heal and decide his next move, but he does have options.
Odds on Who Stipe Miocic Fights Next in 2021
Jairzinho Rozenstruik is the most logical option for Stipe Miocic, unless the UFC really wants to see if Curtis Blaydes can hang with the former champion.
It’s likely Miocic won’t fight again until 2022, or possibly again. He is 38-years-old and has been through some wars in his career. He could decide to call it a career and focus on his family and firefighting, however, I do expect the former champ to come back later this year or early next and face Jairzinho Rozenstruik, which would be a winnable fight for him to possibly earn the trilogy with Ngannou.
Pick: Jairzinho Rozenstruik (+300)
Cole graduated from Sheridan College in April of 2019 with a diploma in journalism. He now is a full-time freelance writer, focusing on MMA for sites like BJPENN and MMA News, while also covering the Toronto Blue Jays as a credentialed media member. At SBD, Cole covers the four major sports and MMA.