For Francis Ngannou, there are two big goals on the horizon.
At least in terms of potential fights.
Ngannou would like to unify the heavyweight belts, as the interim title is currently held by Ciryl Gane. However, he still has eyes on Jon Jones.
For now, Ngannou remains on the sidelines. He bested Stipe Miocic in March to capture the title. Gane, meanwhile, recently topped Derrick Lewis for the interim belt.
That match is expected to be the next one made, but Eric Nicksick told The MMA Hour that Jones remains a big interest.
“I’m hoping, and that’s what we’ve been kicking around,” the coach said (thanks to MMA Fighting  for the quotes). “We’ve been hearing January. But you never know, man.
“Like, the UFC’s always willing to throw you a curveball and then, ‘Oh, guess what? You’re fighting Jon Jones now.”
Jones, the former light heavyweight king, has been bulking up for the move to heavyweight.
The UFC was looking to book Ngannou against Lewis in a title defense before talks broke off. That left Gane to step in with the interim belt on the line.
Despite there being two heavyweight champions, Nicksick remains focused on the Jones fight next for his athlete.
“I always think there’s a chance….I think that’s the fight to make,” he said. “And I would hate to miss out on that opportunity between Francis and Jon.”
Nicksick compared the mega-fight to that of Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather. While the two finally squared off inside the boxing ring, it came late in their respective careers.
“The luster wore away,” he said. “So I’m hoping that that’s the fight that happens because honestly, in my mind, I feel that Jon Jones is the pound-for-pound GOAT.
“And as a coach and as a competitor, I want to compete against the best. I have the utmost respect for Jon and Brandon Gibson and that team over at JacksonWink. But this is what we want to do.”