It is no secret that Muhammad Ali has been a big inspiration for Jon Jones in his fighting career. His meteoric rise to the top of the UFC early on in his career has also been compared to Ali's.
At the beginning of the year, Jon Jones tweeted an iconic Muhammad Ali quote, adopting it to be his mindset going into 2021 - "I'll show you how great I am."
Jon Jones is now comparing his potential title fight of the year to Muhammad Ali's legendary battle with George Foreman.
The two boxers met at the historic event named 'The Rumble in the Jungle' at Stade Tata Raphael Stadium in Kinshasa, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) on October 30, 1974.
With more than 60,000 people in attendance, Muhammad Ali pulled off a major upset victory, debuting his iconic rope-a-dope technique and picking up the world heavyweight title from Foreman. It remains one of the greatest fights of all time.
While it is near-impossible to reach the bar that contests such as that have set, it is true that the fight between Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou will be one for the ages as well.
Jon Jones has already had a Hall of Fame worthy career. He has remained the UFC light heavyweight champion for nearly a decade on and off, and has the record of most successful title defenses in the promotion. There is no question about the legacy 'Bones' has built in the sport.
Francis Ngannou, on the other hand, is the legend-in-making. From the salt mines of Cameroon to the top of the UFC heavyweight division, the journey has been a long but worthy one for 'The Predator'.
After Israel Adesanya and Kamaru Usman, he became the third African-born fighter to hold a UFC title after he knocked out heavyweight veteran Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 last week.
Needless to say, a fight between Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou is a contest that every MMA fan wants to lap up at the moment. However, things are looking slightly less positive for Jon Jones than they did before.
Jon Jones in yet another pay dispute with UFC
Jon Jones wants a big paycheck to fight Francis Ngannou. Firstly, because he deserves it after everything that he has done in the sport. He also claims it is not only "as big as Ali versus Foreman, hosted by the UFC," but also as big as Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury.
However, the response from the UFC regarding the matter has not been very positive. Instead, UFC president Dana White made fun of Jon Jones at the UFC 260 press conference, saying that 'Bones' should consider moving down to middleweight if he saw Francis Ngannou perform on the night.
Support has arrived from unexpected corners for Jon Jones, as former arch-rival Daniel Cormier, with whom Jones still shares bad blood, has come out in defense of the former light heavyweight champion.
In the wake of the dispute, Jon Jones has even gone as far as asking to be released from the UFC. In a recent tweet, Jon Jones revealed that he has had a chat with a UFC lawyer, whom he has told that a figure of $8 to 10 million for this fight would be too low for him.