Francis Ngannou isn’t taking the blame for the abandoned fight against him and Jon Jones. According to the fighter, it’s the UFC itself that thwarted it, saying, “They never brought that conversation up.”

The statement came after UFC CEO Dana White sourly shut down the “dumb question” about the possibility of a Jones-Ngannou fight, claiming that the company made the effort, but the fighters didn’t want it. However, Ngannou dismissed it, stressing both fighters expressed interest in the matter but were told the opposite.

“First of all, when I was around, Jon Jones wasn’t around,” Ngannou shared on The Last Stand podcast. “Even three years before, we were negotiating. I was asking for this fight after I fought Jairzinho Rozenstruik. I was pushing so hard for Jon Jones because I knew the UFC was going to make [Daniel Cormier] and Stipe [Miocic] 3, the trilogy of Stipe and DC. So I wanted the Jon Jones fight and they never brought that conversation up.”

Despite Jones being unavailable when Ngannou seized the heavyweight title, the latter believes both sides were open to the challenge. However, as the former UFC suggested, the company only wants the fight to be limited to words and not in the cage.

“They would use it to paint out the narrative for both sides,” Ngannou explained. “If it’s [about] me, it’s like, ‘Oh, I’m not doing the fight.’ If it’s Jon Jones, so many times they have told me Jon Jones doesn’t want to do that fight.

“I think we both were asking for it. My reason [it didn’t happen] is the UFC. The UFC’s responsible for this fight [not happening].”

Ngannou said he could “talk about this [with PFL] and make this fight happen.” If the PFL agrees, however, it is still not a certainty that UFC would. To recall, White is not a fan of the idea and even called it “stupid.”

“Should I (co-promote with PFL)?” White said. “We’ve got 1, 2 and 3 (in MSG history). They can’t sell a f*cking gate. It’s a stupid question, but go ahead. Talk to me. Why would I do that?”

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