What’s next for the heavyweight division after UFC 270?
A lot of people were bound to form some strong opinions after UFC 270, but none more so than potential opponents like Jon Jones and Tyson Fury.
After Francis Ngannou won his bout against Ciryl Gane, Fury was happy to welcome him over for a big payday in boxing.
Congratulations @francis_ngannou but if you want to make some real money come see the GK ?
— TYSON FURY (@Tyson_Fury) January 23, 2022
With boxing being the preferred route for Francis Ngannou, as both a dream from a young age and a way to avoid signing another deal with the UFC, the likelihood is that he will disappear and leave the title vacant.
The interesting question that then arises is, ‘Did the UFC 270 bout actually make a difference?’
While deciding who the real champion was and defining how people will come to remember both fighters time spent in the UFC are both important areas that it affects, it might not change the next step in the journey.
If Gane won the fight, perhaps Ngannou’s hype might not have been enough to warrant a bout with Fury, but since Ngannou won, it looks like the title could remain vacant.
With Ngannou likely switching over to boxing, especially after the Fury offer, the next UFC heavyweight title bout mightn’t have changed regardless of the result.
Will the next title fight be Jon Jones vs Ciryl Gane regardless of this result?
While the obvious difference between the two situations is that Gane could have been the defending champ vs the likely current option where he will fight Jones for the belt that Ngannou left behind, it doesn’t appear that much else has changed.
Lol Shit I may just enjoy retirement
— BONY (@JonnyBones) January 23, 2022
While Jones joked that his interest in a heavyweight bout was gone after seeing Ngannou’s ability to wrestle, his return may be likely against Gane.
Even if Jones was to leave that option in the past, either way, Stipe Miocic is also waiting for another go at the title and could have been the alternative fighter either way.
Even though there is no answer as to Ngannou’s departure yet, the offer of a big-money fight with Fury will be sure to pique his interest.
So, in a sad sense, the bout really hasn’t altered the path for the heavyweight division.
No different match-ups are likely compared to the alternative situation that would have occurred had Gane won the fight.
The most likely situation is probably going to see Ciryl Gane vs Jon Jones for the belt either way with Derrick Lewis vs Stipe Miocic deciding who gets the next title shot after that.