UFC superstar Jon Jones was mentioned as a potential “silver lining” scenario for UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou after the UFC booked an interim heavyweight title fight between Derrick Lewis and Cyril Gane for August 7. Ngannou and Jones have long desired to face each other in a superfight, but the UFC hasn’t been able to come to terms with the fighters for the massive showdown, particularly Jones. But at least one person on Ngannou’s team, his head coach Eric Nicksick, revealed to MMA Fighting that he hopes things are about to change now that Lewis vs. Gane is happening at UFC 265.
“I got to look at this from both perspectives and I’ve got to come out of this with a positive aspect because, for me being the head coach, if I’m down and out, if I’m adding fuel to this fire, it’s not helping the situation by any means. My goal and my position as a coach is to be ready for whatever comes, for whatever they ask for, and whatever time that is,” Nicksick said.
What Nicksick hopes for now is Ngannou vs. Jones, and he hopes it happens in just a few months.
“So, ultimately, if that means we fight Jon Jones in November or December, I think there’s some silver lining behind this, and then this whole heavyweight division shakes out like it’s supposed to. Lewis and Gane is rightfully a good matchup, obviously it kind of leaves Stipe [Miocic] out in the open — I don’t know what they’re gonna do with him and he’s very much deserved in this title picture as well. But if that means we fight Jon Jones, and maybe that’s a November card in Madison Square Garden or something like that, or even bigger, then I think it’s all gonna work out in the end.”
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Team Ngannou Was Already Training for Next Fight
Nicksick explained Ngannou’s team was shocked to find out about the UFC’s controversial plan to make an interim championship fight because they had just started training for what they assumed was going to be Ngannou’s first title defense against Lewis on September 25.
Instead of waiting just one month for Ngannou to be ready, the UFC moved forward with its interim UFC heavyweight championship plan.
But now Nicksick hopes the UFC’s real plan is to pit Lewis vs. Gane at UFC 265 because the company is moving forward with making the superfight happen between Ngannou and Jones.
That makes Jones the “silver lining” plan for Ngannou’s team, and it would also help make the UFC’s heavyweight division hotter than ever over the second half of this year.
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UFC 265: Lewis vs. Gane
UFC 265: Lewis vs. Gane is set for August 7 in Houston, Texas.
Former title challenger Lewis stopped Curtis Blaydes in the second round of his last fight, and Gane earned a unanimous decision victory over Alexander Volkov in his last outing to remain undefeated.
Now, the two heavyweight stars will meet with interim gold on the line.
Ngannou will remain the UFC’s heavyweight champion, so the winner of UFC 265 would have to win one more fight to claim the full crown.
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