Francis Ngannou's head coach wants to strike while the iron is hot.
Eric Nicksick, who cornered Ngannou in his title win over Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 in late March, said Tuesday he believes it would be a major disappointment if a fight between the newly crowned heavyweight champion and Jon Jones never materializes.
"On paper, it could be one of the best MMA fights ever," Nicksick told theScore. "Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou, in this day and age, it's unheard of. It's a superfight by far."
He added: "I've been around the Fedor (Emelianenko) and the Randy (Couture) era, when that fight was supposed to happen and they could just never get a deal done. There are always those 'what ifs?' - the Georges St-Pierres and the Anderson Silvas, those great superfights that never really transpired. I think it would definitely be a disservice for a lot of us - fans, coaches, and camps alike - if this fight never really happens."
UFC president Dana White initially declared that Jones, a former light heavyweight champion who announced last year he was moving up to the heavyweight division, would be first in line to challenge the Miocic-Ngannou winner.
But since that fight took place, Jones made it clear he wants a pay increase to face Ngannou, and White suggested top heavyweight contender Derrick Lewis could get the next title shot instead.
Nicksick said either opponent would work for Ngannou's first title defense, but Jones is the more intriguing matchup.
"I think you can make a really good argument for both (fights)," Nicksick said. "Derrick Lewis has improved vastly in his last four fights as well. He's added different skill sets and variables to his game. He looks a lot leaner and healthier.
"But the Jon Jones fight is I think more compelling in the sense that he is the greatest, pound-for-pound, to ever do it. I would love to be able to compete against a guy like Jon Jones and his camp. Nothing but love for the guys over at Jackson Wink and Brandon Gibson, absolute good friends of mine, I just love to compete against the best."
In recent weeks, Jones has said $10 million would be "way too low" for the Ngannou fight and has gone as far as to ask the UFC for his release on Twitter. The promotion reportedly seemed unwilling to meet Jones' price as of Monday.
Nicksick sides with Jones in his ongoing conflict with the UFC, saying the former champ "absolutely" deserves to be paid more to move up in weight and fight Ngannou.
"I appreciate Jon for stepping up and trying to make all of us more money," Nicksick said. "That's essentially what he's doing. I love the Conor McGregors and the Jon Joneses of the world, because they're driving the market up for all of us - fighters and coaches alike. ... How could you get mad at a guy who wants to get more money from a company that does very well themselves?"
Ngannou appeared to be much improved in the Miocic rematch from his early UFC days, leading some fans to wonder if anyone can beat the current version of "The Predator."
Nicksick said he considers Jones the biggest challenge for Ngannou, and he thinks it would be a big deal if Ngannou can get past the pound-for-pound king.
"It would be a great feather in his cap," Nicksick said when asked what fighting - and possibly beating - Jones would mean for Ngannou's career. "It's just that competitor mentality. Jon Jones has one of the best fight IQs in the game. I think being able to go out and try to compete against a guy, and even trying to outsmart him and use our skill set to try to beat a guy moving up in weight, it's just a huge feather in his cap if we're able to go out and beat him."