New UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is confident Jon Jones can be lured inside the Octagon for a shot at the gold.
"I believe that Jon Jones wants this fight," Ngannou said to TMZ Sports. "I believe he'll want it to happen because it's gonna be a massive fight. ... I think this might be the biggest fight of his career."
Jones last fought in February 2020, earning a unanimous decision over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247.
Since then, the former light heavyweight champion has been engaged in a pay dispute with the UFC, which ultimately led to him relinquishing his title. It doesn't appear anything has changed.
Ngannou knocked out Stipe Miocic on Saturday to become the heavyweight champ. The following day, Jones referenced a possible fight with "The Predator" but reiterated his desire to get a more favorable contract.
However, the 33-year-old closed by striking a more optimistic tone, saying he was supposed to see a proposal for an upcoming fight "next week":
No matter the opponent, Jones' heavyweight debut would likely be one of the biggest UFC fights of the year. He's among the promotion's most popular fighters and sits atop the UFC's pound-for-pound rankings.
Were he to cross paths with Ngannou, fans would be especially interested to see how he'd match up with somebody who has about 60 pounds on him. Jones is listed at 205 pounds on UFC.com, while Ngannou tipped the scales at 263 pounds ahead of UFC 260.
Given Jones' resolve at the moment, this contest might remain purely hypothetical for the foreseeable future.