Jon Jones was on UFC analysts’ minds after UFC 270, and former middleweight champ Michael Bisping had some advice for the would-be heavyweight title challenger: get back in the octagon.
“Stop tweeting and start fighting,” Bisping said on the ESPN+ post-fight show following Francis Ngannou’s win over Ciryl Gane in the main event of Saturday’s pay-per-view card.
Bisping was echoing ESPN’s Michael Eaves, who said of the former UFC light heavyweight champ, “Don’t talk about it, be about it. Let’s go Jon. Get your life together so we can see the fight that so many fans [want to see].”
Jones was a logical topic on the subject of the rightful contender to the UFC heavyweight title, and that was because until a dispute over pay, he was the named No. 1 contender to the belt. Sidelined since 2020, when he relinquished the light heavyweight title he held with an iron fist, Jones sat on the sidelines as the UFC passed him over for slugger Derrick Lewis and then Gane.
As Gane took an early lead and then faded against Ngannou, Jones couldn’t help himself from providing some Twitter commentary, all of it unflattering. But like everyone else on the desk, the outspoken Bisping only wanted what was best for the division in seeing Jones realize his goal of capturing a belt in another division.
“It’s been a while since he’s been in the octagon,” Bisping said. “It’s all well and good, sitting there and putting them down and referring to himself as daddy, which he very well may be. He could go in there and embarrass everybody in the heavyweight division. But we don’t know that, and until you’re man enough to step in there and do that, you can’t sit there and disregard and kind of mock what just took place tonight.”
Bisping wasn’t the only one irked by Jones’ tweets. The former light heavyweight champ had a quick comeback for a fan who suggested his mockery of Ngannou and Gane was unbecoming.
Jones predicted a comeback in the second quarter of this year, but that was before another legal issue that needed to be resolved, and UFC President Dana White said he couldn’t be confident the ex-champ would be next for Ngannou.
Of course, with Jones demanding a pay raise, the UFC exec could keep him sidelined until he is more amenable to the promotion’s terms. Jones has procured a new manager in hopes of bridging the gap, but there’s been no update on negotiations. Whether or not the win of Ngannou, who’s in the midst of his own contract showdown with the UFC after fulfilling his contract on a win, changes the promotion’s strategic priorities is anyone’s guess.
But Bisping, like others, simply wants to see Jones fight.