Francis Ngannou‘s coach Eric Nicksick recently discussed the prospect of a Jon Jones fight at heavyweight, and he says he wants that action. All-time great ‘Bones’ Jones has been teasing a move to heavyweight for nearly a decade and has been putting on the pounds since vacating his light heavyweight title in 2020.
Eric Nicksick is the head coach at Xtreme Couture MMA and has trained Cameroonian Francis Ngannou into earning the UFC heavyweight championship. He recently sat down with Mike Owens of LowKickMMA in an exclusive interview and discussed the possibility of facing Jon Jones at heavyweight. He said:
“The fight that makes the most sense and the fight that I really would love the opportunity to compete against is Jon Jones. I would love that opportunity, man. I think it Jon is the best if not the best to ever do it. He’s moving up a weight class and he’s coming to challenge himself and then who better to be the guy to challenge him than the heavyweight champion of the world? Yeah, hopefully, that’s the fight that we’re able to make.”
Nicksick also laid out a timeline for the match and said it would be ideal for February or March 2023. As Ngannou had recently undergone surgery and needed some time to recover.
See the full interview with LowKickMMA and Eric Nicksick below:
Francis Ngannou vs Jon Jones for the UFC Heavyweight World Championship
The Xtreme Couture MMA coach also pointed out there are few challenges left for the heavyweight world champion Francis Ngannou. The French-born Ciryl Gane is likely the top contender but had also recently been defeated. Nicksick also added that they plan on giving former champion Stipe Miocic another shot.
Speaking to LowKickMMA, Nicksick said:
“Cyril Gane’s always going to be right there. And then you have to still give Stipe Miocic that opportunity as well…We’ve beat, we fought Gane”
But adds that being as competitive as he is, he wants a fight against MMA great Jon Jones.
Jon Jones earned the light heavyweight title in 2011 being the youngest champion in UFC history. ‘Bones’ went undefeated in his championship and dispatched notable fighters such as Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, Rashad Evans, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Lyoto Machida, and Daniel Cormier, among several others.
Cameroon’s Francis Ngannou earned his heavyweight title via knockout in 2021. In this bout, he avenged an earlier loss to then-champion Stipe Miocic. Ngannou later defended his title against France’s ‘Bon Gamin’ Gane via unanimous decision. Due to injuries and contract disputes with the UFC, Ngannou has not fought since.