Francis Ngannou and Jon Jones could be set to face off in the Octagon as early as March, according to Ngannou’s head coach Erick Nicksick.
Nicksick spoke about the proposed heavyweight matchup with MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck, stating that while he is optimistic about the fight taking place, he is uncertain about the date and believes there is a “50/50” chance that it headlines UFC 285 on March 4.
“I think it’s 50-50, to be honest with you, when you’re talking business and timeline,” Nicksick said. “I’m confident from what I saw from Francis a couple of weeks ago that if we had to be ready for March, I think we can get him ready, but I think it is cutting it a little bit short because he had to go back home and renew his visa.
“And then obviously they still haven’t announced anything yet with his contract and where they’re at, so 50-50 for me. I’m hoping for this thing, fingers crossed that we can get this deal done. If it’s not March, maybe it’s April or May, or something like that. I do know that they’re shooting for March and that Jon Jones is the opponent. Everything else is out of my hands, but if they tell me, ‘Hey, we’re fighting March 4,’ we’ll have our guy ready, that’s for sure.”
“I’m a Vegas boy, so I’m always betting on the table to win,” he added. “I’m not a don’t pass line guy, so put it on let’s make this thing happen. I’m optimistic we’ll get this thing done.”
Ngannou is still recovering from a knee injury he suffered before his title defense against Ciryl Gane, while Jones hasn’t fought since he relinquished the light heavyweight title in Aug. 2020. If the fight does happen, former UFC title challenger turned MMA analyst Chael Sonnen believes it could be the biggest fight of all time and a defining moment for the sport.
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