Xtreme Couture head coach Eric Nicksick has stated that Francis Ngannou has more than one option when it comes to his first title defense.
Nicksick says that just because Ciryl Gane is the current UFC interim heavyweight champion, it does not mean that a potential super fight between Francis Ngannou and Jon Jones is completely off the cards.
Ever since Francis Ngannou left the MMA factory and head coach Fernand Lopez, he has primarily been training with Nicksick and the team at Xtreme Couture. His time with them has yielded great results, as Ngannou, under the tutelage of Nicksick, was able to secure the UFC heavyweight title earlier this year.
However, Francis Ngannou is yet to make his first title defense, and he currently has three potential opponents who he could face. As mentioned earlier, Ciryl Gane would make the most sense considering he is the interim champion. The man whom Ngannou defeated to get his belt, Stipe Miocic, has also called for a trilogy bout with 'The Predator.'
Then there's Jon Jones, the former UFC light heavyweight champion, who is considered by many to be the greatest MMA fighter of all time. In 2020, Jones announced he would be moving up to heavyweight, although a significant period of time has since passed and he still does have an opponent.
In a recent exclusive interview with Sportskeeda MMA's John Hyon Ko, Eric Nicksick was asked whether he believes there's still any chance we could see a super fight between Francis Ngannou and Jon Jones next.
"I do. I really do. Let's be honest with this, that is the biggest fight you can make. Granted, Gane has moved the needle over the the last few months, he's changed a lot. But when you boil it down, you have the ability to make the super fight that everybody's interested in seeing, why not make it now. The scariest man on the planet vs. the pound-for-pound GOAT. It just makes a lot of sense. I think value wise, it makes a lot of sense."
Eric Nicksick on why now is the perfect time to book Francis Ngannou vs. Jon Jones
Nicksick raises an excellent point when he says that this may be the only point in time where a fight between Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou will have this amount of fan interest.
Should Jones face off against another heavyweight first and come up short, there would be significantly less appeal in seeing him fight 'The Predator' next. Nicksick told Sportskeeda:
"It kinda reminds me of when Pacquiao and Floyd (Mayweather) were supposed to fight and they didn't," said Nicksick. "If Jon Jones goes and fights Stipe, if he loses to Stipe that whole mega fight with Francis doesn't have the luster it has now. I would love to be able to compete against a guy like that... That's what you get into this sport for, to compete against some of the best. It would be nothing but an honor to compete against a guy like Jon Jones."
Check out our full interview with Xtreme Couture head coach Eric Nicksick below: