When Francis Ngannou defeated Stipe Miocic in late March, many were trying to find something positive in it. The main thing was Ngannou's great desire to fight, following the check he should be a more active champion, so Stipe could get the opportunity to return the title as soon as possible.
Yet, five months after that fight, Ngannou knows absolutely nothing about his next performance, and in the meantime, a temporary heavyweight title has been introduced. This is a very unenviable situation to deal with. And how the UFC heavyweight champion and his team do it was revealed by his coach Eric Nicksick in an interview for MMA Hour by Ariel Helwani.
Immediately turning to it when he believes his most famous fighter should be back in the Octagon. "We're waiting and hoping. We last heard there was talk of January. But you never know. It's like the UFC always wants to make you a fake."
"They could call us from nowhere and said we're fighting Jon Jones," Nicksick said, adding that it actually remains his greatest wish and hope: "There's always a chance for that fight and it's a fight that should be organized.
It would be terrible for me to miss the opportunity to organize that fight between Francis and Jon." "For me, Jon Jones is the greatest fighter of all time, and as a coach and competitor I want to compete against best."
"I have a lot of respect for Jon, Brandon Gibson, and the whole team at JacksonWink, but that's what we want to compete against the best on offer. Ciryl's name is there but everyone else wants to see the fight against Jon Jones.
Ngannou had already set out to prepare for a fight against Lewis in September when the UFC made a decision to fight for a temporary belt between Gane and Lewis a month earlier. That certainly put Ngannou on hold so we will once again have over half a year between two fights for the UFC heavyweight title.
As for Gane, Eric isn’t exactly too impressed with what he did against Lewis, but the fight earlier. "He impressed me a lot more against Volkov. That fight told us a lot more about him, primarily because of the distance and length that Volkov has and what he is capable of doing against hitters," he commented briefly.
In the end, he had to look back at the whole situation that made Ngannou, although he announced being an active champion, another one of those who fight once a year. He did only one fight in 2020. "The UFC business is doing what's best for them.
What makes me happy is the fact that Francis is constantly in the gym. The moment we learned we had to fight Derrick Lewis we went into camp."