UFC Notes: PVZ-Ribas booked, Jones-Ngannou talks off for now

The UFC 250 card is starting to take shape, Paige VanZant has been booked to face Amanda Ribas on June 11 and talks of a superfight between top heavyweight contender Francis ‘The Predator’ Ngannou and light-heavyweight champion Jon ‘Bones’ Jones are apparently off for now.

Let’s hit on this news and more from the mixed martial arts world…

–We hit on the odds for a potential Ngannou-Jones superfight earlier this week. According to Jones’s timeline on Twitter, his management team entered into negotiations with the promotion Thursday. However, Jones claims the UFC was unwilling to give him a bump up in pay to move to heavyweight for this bout. If the promotion sat down to discuss the fight at all, that means they’re willing to make it happen. They’re called negotiations for a reason, so one snag doesn’t mean it’s off for good. Jones, who is off yet another arrest less than two months ago, doesn’t exactly have a ton of bargaining power. In reality, he’s fortunate the UFC didn’t suspend him because he was in clear violation of its fighter’s Code of Conduct policies.

–Paige ’12 Gauge’ VanZant will finally return to the Octagon on June 11 to face Amanda Ribas. The to-be-determined venue is believed to be Fight Island. BetOnline opened Ribas as a -450 favorite early this morning. She’s been adjusted to a -375 ‘chalk,’ leaving VanZant as a +310 underdog. This is by far the richest underdog spot of VanZant’s career. She is in the last fight of her contract with the promotion. Since VanZant’s second-round submission win (armbar) over Rachael Ostovich on Jan. 19 of 2019, she’s broken her arm twice. The same arm has been broken three times since 2018. Ribas (9-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) is on a four-fight winning streak.

–‘Suga’ Sean O’Malley has been booked to face veteran bantamweight Eddie Wineland at UFC 250. O’Malley made a triumphant return from a two-year absence on March 7, when he finished Jose Alberto Quinonez by first-round TKO (head kick and punches) at UFC 248. O’Malley, who had been out due to hip surgery and a USADA suspension, improved to 11-0 overall and 4-0 in the UFC. He bagged a Performance of the Night bonus for an extra $50,000. Wineland is the former WEC bantamweight champion who is off a second-round KO win over Grigory Popov at UFC 238 last June. Wineland’s five TKO/KOs are the second-most in the history of the UFC’s bantamweight loop, trailing only T.J. Dillashaw’s seven. Most books have O’Malley installed as a -400 favorite, with Wineland at +300 on the comeback.

Like the May 30 show next Saturday, UFC 250 will take place in Las Vegas at the UFC’s Apex Facility where it films The Ultimate Fighter and Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. Amanda Nunes (-550 favorite) will defend her featherweight title for the first time against Felicia Spencer, who is a +400 underdog.

–Three other fights have been added to the UFC 250 card this week, including Neil Magny (-150) vs. Anthony Rocco Martin (+120), Aljamain Sterling (-120) vs. Cory Sandhagen (-110) and Chase Hooper (-120) vs. Alex ‘Bruce Leeroy’ Caceres (-110).

–You may remember Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal’s interview with Joe Rogan after he beat Ben Askren by flying-knee KO in only five seconds last year. Masvidal said, “Man, that dude was talking wild!” Well, now it’s Colby Covington that’s speaking wild about the BMF champ. Check out what Covington had to say during an interview earlier this week (H/T MMAFighting).

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