RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Francis Ngannou takes no comfort in knowing the UFC heavyweight title fight is off due to injury.
Though he departed the promotion as heavyweight champion in 2022, Ngannou won’t let pettiness enter his mind. Hearing Jon Jones fell out of the UFC 295 main event vs. Stipe Miocic due to a torn pectoral muscle brings him no joy.
“Well, I think it’s sad news,” Ngannou told MMA Junkie after an open workout Wednesday ahead of his boxing match vs. Tyson Fury. “It’s never good news when athletes get injured. Basically, in training. I hope he recovers well. I was very excited to watch that fight and see who was going to win that fight.”
Even situationally, Ngannou thinks he’d be crazy to feel vindicated or boosted based off the misfortune or failure of another company or fighter, especially considering injuries are an inherent part of combat sports.
“Something like this is not something you can blame to somebody,” Ngannou said. “It’s something that can happen to everybody. It could’ve happened here. It could happen to anybody. I don’t think that’s a part of the decision, but yes. It sucks, though.”
Ngannou admits he hasn’t looked too much into the impromptu interim title fight between Sergei Pavlovich and Tom Aspinall that’s been added to the Nov. 11 event at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Right now, Ngannou is more focused on his own position in the combat sports landscape, and that’s one-half of a crossover superfight Saturday at Riyadh Arena.
“I’m out here living my dream, living in the big stage,” Ngannou said. “I think whether there’s an undisputed champion out there or not, I’m happy to be part of the game.”
For more on the matchup, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Fury vs. Ngannou.