There are rumors circulating that two of the more popular fighters in the UFC‘s heavyweight division might be fighting this summer. Over the past couple of days, it’s been rumored that the promotion is targeting a summer showdown between Stipe Miocic (20-4) and Tai Tuivasa (15-3).
These rumors have been fueled by recent interviews from “Bam Bam”. Tuivasa appeared on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani yesterday where he was vocal about the fight to make is a matchup with Stipe Miocic.
He was humble when he was calling for the fight, but he talked about how much sense it makes in regards to the UFC’s heavyweight division. Both men are ranked inside the top three and both men currently need a fight.
Now, I had thought all along that Ciryl Gane (10-1) was going to be the next fight for Tuivasa. However, I think there’s some legs to this potential fight with Stipe Miocic. However, it will ultimately come down to one man and that man is Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC).
Will the UFC make this fight happen?
The UFC’s heavyweight division is in limbo due to Francis Ngannou’s contract situation and health. Ngannou is set to undergo knee surgery in the US on March 14th and from there, we are in for a long negotiation battle between the UFC and the heavyweight champion.
There have already been preliminary talks about an interim title fight in July pairing Jon Jones with Stipe Miocic. They could sell the fight as the greatest of all time versus the greatest heavyweight in UFC history.
However, Tuivasa throws a wrinkle into everything. He seems dead set on the Stipe fight and there are rumors. Until Jon Jones actually has a UFC contract signed, it’s hare to peg him for any fight to be completely honest.
My gut still tells me that Jon Jones will fight Stipe Miocic over the summer for the interim title. The fight just makes too much sense and would setup a super fight at the end of the year with Francis Ngannou regardless of the winner.
With that, I still believe that Tuivasa should and probably will fight former UFC interim champion Ciryl Gane next. Either fight for Tuivasa puts him squarely in the title picture. Time will tell, but my guess is that we will know sooner than later.