Stipe Miocic down to fight Jon Jones or Francis Ngannou in UFC return

MMA, Stipe Miocic

In a couple of months, UFC 270 will play host to a massive heavyweight title fight. The heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou (16-3) will be defending his title against the undefeated interim champion Ciryl Gane (10-0).

While there is a ton of attention on this title fight, there are a couple of huge heavyweight contenders lurking in the shadows. The biggest one being arguably the greatest fighter of all time in Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC). Jones has been bulking up for over a year anticipating a move to heavyweight.

Lately, the former light heavyweight champion is weighing just under the heavyweight limit at 260 pounds. Jones has been rumored to be the front-runner to face off against whoever wins at UFC 270. However, there’s another contender that’s flying under the radar.

That contender is the former heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic (20-3). Miocic is considered by many to be the greatest heavyweight in the promotion’s history. However, he has a history of being overlooked and essentially disrespected by the UFC.

Last March, Miocic lost his heavyweight title to Ngannou. Despite having gone 8-2 in his last ten which includes six wins in title fights, Miocic has been mostly out of the conversation in terms of the heavyweight title picture.

UFC Return

Back in August when the UFC booked Ciryl Gane against Derrick Lewis for the interim heavyweight title, Miocic wasn’t even considered for the fight. While this has certainly annoyed Miocic, the former champion is taking it in strides as he prepares for his return.

Miocic talked with Ariel Helwani today and the two discussed his UFC return. The former heavyweight champion made it clear that he would fight anyone, however, there are a couple of fights that really interest him.

“I’m down [to fight Jon Jones] … Obviously, I really want that trilogy fight [with Francis Ngannou],” transcribed by MMA Fighting. The UFC and Jon Jones can never seem to get on the same page these days. In my opinion, Jones would be the promotion’s first choice for the winner of Ngannou – Gane.

However, I think Miocic is likely to get the shot given the negotiation issues between Jones and the promotions. It’ll be interesting to watch this play out, but either way, I’m excited to see Stipe back in the octagon sometime next spring.

Stipe Miocic to meet with UFC next month regarding his return

MMA, Stipe Miocic

The greatest heavyweight in the history of the UFC is getting ready to ramp up the comeback conversations. Stipe Miocic (20-4) has been motivated to get back in the cage ever since he lost the heavyweight title back in March.

Miocic defended his title against Francis Ngannou (16-3) at UFC 260. This was a rematch from a couple of years ago. In the first fight, Miocic completely dominated and overwhelmed Ngannou in a lopsided decision.

The second fight was completely different. Ngannou was calculated and remained calmed throughout on his way to knocking Miocic out in the second round to become the UFC heavyweight champion.

After the loss, Miocic has stated that he wants the trilogy with Ngannou to regain his heavyweight title. However, the UFC had no plans for that right away. Miocic needed time to recover and with a baby on the way, he decided to sit back for a while.

In the mean time, there has been a ton of activity in the heavyweight division. Despite the title being on the line just a few months ago, the UFC created an interim title that Derrick Lewis (25-8, 1 NC) and Ciryl Gane (10-0) just fought for at UFC 265.

Miocic to meet with the UFC

Gane stopped Lewis in the third round to become the interim UFC heavyweight champion. With the interim title around his waste, Gane will be taking on the undisputed champion, Francis Ngannou, likely at the end of the year or in early 2022.

So where does that leave the greatest heavyweight in UFC history? Well, Miocic is in a bit of a waiting pattern. He told ESPN this week that his wife is due with their son in the next couple of weeks. After the baby is born, Miocic is flying to Las Vegas to meet with Dana White regarding what’s next.

Miocic did mention that he was a little annoyed he didn’t get a call for the interim title fight. That was never in the UFC’s plans. White has publicly mentioned a fight with Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) as an option for Miocic. Miocic told ESPN he would be down for that fight, but Jones has been less interested in this matchup in the past.

I have to say, with Ngannou – Gane happening, I would love for the UFC to book Miocic against Jones. The greatest of all time versus the greatest heavyweight has a nice ring to it. Not too mention the fact that it would provide a clear number one contender for the winner of Ngannou – Gane.

Stipe Miocic annoyed by the UFC

MMA, Stipe Miocic

The greatest heavyweight in UFC history is not happy with the promotion. It would appear that Stipe Miocic (20-4) is once again at odds with the promotion and he expressed his frustrations yesterday on Instagram. MMA Fighting caught Miocic’s comments about the UFC title picture.

Miocic is being asked to wait for the heavyweight title picture to iron itself out. In a few weeks, Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane will be fighting for the interim UFC heavyweight title. The winner of that fight will be next in line to take on the undisputed champion Francis Ngannou (16-3).

Miocic last the heavyweight title to Ngannou back at UFC 260 when he was knocked out by Ngannou in the second round. That fight was a rematch from their first fight a few years ago where Miocic completely dominated a very green Francis Ngannou.

The second fight was completely dominated by Ngannou. However, with the series being 1-1, Miocic is wanting to run it back to get his title back. He’s talked about bulking up and he even talked about returning to fight for the UFC title by the end of the year. However, he’s express frustrations with the way things look.

Not wanting to wait on the UFC

In a response to an Instagram comment, the former UFC champion said, “I shouldn’t have to wait for a winner. I have the most heavyweight title defenses of all time. We’re 1-1 but DC (Daniel Cormier) got instant rematches and trilogies against me?”

Miocic has a legit argument against the UFC. He holds the most title defenses in the history of the division and even Dana White would tell you that Miocic is the greatest heavyweight champion in the history of the promotion. However, things have not always been smooth between Miocic and the UFC.

After Miocic lost to Daniel Cormier in their first fight, it took over a year for him to get the rematch. That was because the UFC was trying to book a heavyweight title fight between Cormier and Brock Lesnar. After that fight fell through, Miocic got his rematch.

Now, Miocic has lost his title for the second time and instead of getting an immediate rematch, he’s being asked to wait again. Miocic even contemplated a move to ONE with everything that’s going on. I’m sure this situation between Miocic and the UFC will right itself, but you have to feel for the former champion.

Could Gane – Lewis at UFC 265 ultimately lead to Jon Jones – Francis Ngannou?

UFC, Jon Jones

Earlier this week we learned that UFC 265 would be headlined by Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) and Ciryl Gane (9-0). The PPV headliner will take place in Lewis’ hometown of Houston, Texas and the interim heavyweight title will be on the line.

The decision to create an interim heavyweight title at UFC 265 was perplexing. Mass confusion fell upon the MMA community due to the fact that Francis Ngannou (16-3) just won the heavyweight title back in March.

Ngannou has been on vacation and told the UFC he’d be ready to fight Derrick Lewis for the undisputed title in September. However, the promotion needed a main event for August 7th. Their solution was to book Lewis in an interim title fight.

Now, this leaves the undisputed heavyweight champion without a fight. The UFC has said that Gane and Lewis are fighting for the interim title because they are the two most deserving contenders and they are ready to fight on August 7th. Again, doesn’t make a ton of sense, but that’s their story.

However, there could be a silver lining here for all parties involved. Perhaps the UFC can now put together the fight that fans wanted to see all along. Maybe it’s time for the promotion to revisit the superfight between Ngannou and Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC).

Will the UFC try to make Ngannou – Jones happen?

Let’s rewind time back to just before UFC 260 where Ngannou defeated Stipe Miocic. The storyline leading up to the fight was that Jon Jones would be moving up to heavyweight and would be fighting the winner.

For months, that’s what Dana White and the UFC had been saying. Jon Jones vacated his light heavyweight title last year to prepare for his move to the heavyweight division.

However, immediately after UFC 260 we learned the fight was going to be hard to make. Jones and the promotion could never come close to a deal and as a result, the UFC moved on from Jones and focused on Derrick Lewis.

Now, we find ourselves in an interesting position. Jones recently hired Richard Schaeffer as his new representative. Schaeffer has a great relationship with UFC President Dana White and has already said publicly that he’s confident the Jones – Ngannou fight will get done.

Heavyweight Tournament?

With this interim title fight on the books for UFC 265, I think it’s time to go back to the negotiation table. There has never been a better time to book Jones against Ngannou. With the interim title fight booked, you get to give the top contenders the crack at gold that they rightfully deserve.

At the same time, if you book Ngannou – Jones, you’re also giving UFC fans the fight they want to see. A four-man tournament could be playing out for the biggest prize in all of combat sports. Of course, at this point it’s all talk, but even Ngannou’s coach talked about this potential silver lining. 

There’s also the outside chance that a four-man tournament plays out without Jones. Stipe Miocic (20-4) is bulking up and wants the trilogy with Ngannou. Perhaps the UFC moves in that direction if a fight with Jones still can’t be made.

This is definitely going to be a storyline to watch over the coming weeks.

Sound Off: Should the UFC book Ngannou against Jones/Miocic or wait for the Gane-Lewis winner?

UFC: Stipe Miocic targeting a return at the end of the year to regain his title

MMA, Stipe Miocic

The greatest heavyweight in the history of the UFC is ready to make his return. Stipe Miocic (20-4) is ready to get back into the octagon and he’s excited to regain what he believes is his and that’s the heavyweight championship.

Back at UFC 260, Miocic was set to defend his title against Francis Ngannou (16-3). The two had met a couple of years prior and Miocic completely dominated Ngannou. However, this fight was a completely different story. Ngannou’s measured approach was difficult for Miocic to solve.

In the second round, Ngannou dropped Miocic with a straight shot. Upon retreating, Miocic landed a beautiful counter right that for a moment appeared to daze Ngannou. In reality, this was the worst thing that could have happened to Miocic at UFC 260.

Sensing he had Ngannou hurt, Miocic rushed in and was caught flush with a short left hook. That hook knocked Miocic out cold and Ngannou claimed the UFC heavyweight title. After the fight was over, many were wondering if that was the last time we’d see Miocic inside the octagon.

However, Miocic has made it clear that he’s going no where. He has a fire burning inside of him and he’s ready to get back to the heavyweight title. UFC President Dana White said last week that Miocic would be facing the winner of Ngannou – Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC). This news brought a smile to the former champion’s face.

UFC redemption?

In speaking to Submission Radio this week, Miocic said of the UFC President’s comments, “That’s great news. It’s what I was expecting, but you never know what could happen. I’m happy with that.” When asked about his timeline, Miocic said, “I don’t know, we will see on when they want to give me the rematch. End of this year, early next year, I don’t know.”

The UFC’s fallout with Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) has made a lot of this possible. Originally, the promotion wanted Jones to face off against the winner of the UFC 260 main event. However, the promotion and Jones never got on the same page when it comes to negotiations.

Jones recently hired former Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer as his representative. The former light heavyweight champion announced that he didn’t plan on returning to the UFC until next year which would fit Stipe Miocic’s timeline he has now.

However, yesterday, Jones said that if Schaefer does well for him in negotiations, he could return this year. The UFC is currently targeting the Ngannou – Lewis title fight for early August. The winner would likely face Miocic at the end of the year, but of course, Jones could throw a wrench into everything. Honestly, I would love to see Jones fight for the heavyweight title, but if anyone deserves a shot before him, it’s Stipe Miocic.

UFC: Jon Jones isn’t planning on fighting anytime soon

UFC, Jon Jones

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) isn’t planning on making his way back into the octagon anytime soon. Jones took to Twitter yesterday and made it clear that he’s in no rush to come back.

Last week, Dana White said that the UFC was moving on from Jon Jones in terms of the heavyweight title picture. White told TMZ that Jones’ fighting future is strictly up to Jon Jones.

Heading into 2021, it was clear that Jones would get a crack at the heavyweight title this year. At UFC 260, Francis Ngannou (16-3) knocked out Stipe Miocic (20-4) to become the heavyweight champion.

Immediately fans started getting excited about the possibility of a matchup between Jones and Ngannou. However, immediately after the fight was over, Jones and the UFC were at odds in terms of compensation.

After some back-and-forth both over social media and behind closed doors, the two sides couldn’t come to terms. As a result, Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) is going to be getting the next shot at the title. The UFC is trying to finalize the matchup for August.

Jones’ UFC Future

With Lewis being granted the shot at Ngannou, Dana White suggested that Jon Jones fights Stipe Miocic. This would be a fun matchup between arguably the greatest of all time and the greatest heavyweight of all time.

White’s logic was that this fight would truly establish a number one contender after the UFC title fight in August. However, Jones came out and said that the only fight he wants is the heavyweight title fight.

Since then, White has said that Stipe Miocic would be getting the winner of the matchup between Ngannou and Lewis. Stipe will likely get his shot at the end of the year or in early 2022.

With that, it will be another year where we don’t see Jon Jones in the UFC. His last fight came back in February of 2020 so we are likely looking at a two-year layoff for the all time great. Jones said on Twitter he doesn’t mind the wait, and thinks it might actually be a good thing.

UFC President on Jon Jones situation: ‘We’re Moving On’

UFC, Dana White

The UFC doesn’t have Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) in their plans anytime soon. The former light heavyweight champion and all time great has been in a public spat with the promotion about his pay.

Jones was seeking a bump in his pay to move up and fight the UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou (16-3). The fight with Jones and Ngannou is the biggest fight the promotion can make outside of a fight that features Conor McGregor.

Ngannou became the heavyweight champion at UFC 260 when he knocked out Stipe Miocic (20-4). For the months leading up to that event, it was understood that Jon Jones would be fighting the winner.

However, immediately after the fight was over, Jones started requesting a bump in his pay. While the numbers are not publicly known, it’s obvious that the gap between Jones and the UFC is wide.

White has been vocal in that Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) would likely get the next shot at Ngannou. However, with that fight not being finalized yet, there has been some outside hope that Jones would still get the shot.

UFC has moved on

Dana White spoke to TMZ Sports this week and he made it clear that the UFC has moved on from this situation with Jones. He also said that Jones will make the call on whether or not he wants to fight again.

“I have absolutely moved on. Listen, I put on fights every Saturday. We have a window on when we try to build some fights and make things happen. If the fights don’t happen within that window, we move on,” White said.

When asked about Jones’ UFC future, White said, “That’s up to Jon. I was saying that night (UFC 260), that he could absolutely fight again at 205. He said he wouldn’t fight Stipe…Listen, there’s nothing wrong with going out on top.”

With the UFC moving towards booking the rematch between Ngannou and Lewis, White had previously suggested Jones fight Stipe Miocic in a title eliminator. However, Jones said last week that he had no interest in fighting the former heavyweight champion.

UFC: Jon Jones isn’t interested in Dana White’s idea to have him fight Stipe Miocic

UFC, Jon Jones

Right now, the world is waiting on an official announcement on what’s next for the UFC‘s heavyweight division. Francis Ngannou (16-3) defeated Stipe Miocic (20-4) back at UFC 260 to become the undisputed heavyweight champion.

After the fight was over, we thought we’d be getting Ngannou versus Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) next. However, financial negotiations between Jones and the UFC have not gone over well and as of now, the promotion is moving in a different direction.

Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) is the top contender in the heavyweight division who is also waiting for a title shot. The Black Beast holds a victory over Ngannou and he’s riding a four-fight win streak.

UFC president Dana White spoke to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto and told him that the promotion was doing Ngannou – Lewis 2 next. Stipe Miocic has come out and said that he is fully intending on getting his UFC heavyweight title back.

Miocic said that he plans to bulk up before a trilogy with Ngannou. When made aware of these comments by Okamoto, White said that he loved it. Then he smiled and suggested the UFC do Miocic versus Jones in the interim.

UFC: Jones vs Miocic?

In a serious of deleted tweets that were later posted by MMA Junkie, the former UFC light heavyweight champion shot down the idea of fighting Miocic. Jones made it clear that he wants to fight Ngannou next and he will wait for that fight.

“Don’t get excited people, I’m not fighting Stipe…I’m not here to fight Stipe but I will defend my belt against him no problem. I’m looking for the biggest draw and I’m willing to wait. 33 years old I’m a better athlete right now than I’ve ever been before. I’m just going to keep training my ass off… The world wants to see some black on black crime right now and I’m going to give it to them.”

Jones is right about one thing; the biggest fight the UFC can make is Jones versus Ngannou. However, that isn’t what’s going to be next. We will likely see Ngannou rematch with Derrick Lewis in August.

If Ngannou comes out of that fight victorious, the UFC will likely try to book the Jones fight again for the end of the year. If that fight happens at the end of the year, Stipe Miocic will likely be waiting in the wings next spring.

Is the UFC revisiting Jon Jones – Francis Ngannou or have they moved on?

UFC, Jon Jones

At UFC 260, Francis Ngannou (16-3) became the heavyweight champion of the world when he knocked out Stipe Miocic (20-4). After the fight was over, people immediately started talking about the potential matchup with Ngannou and Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC).

Jones is widely considered to be the greatest of all time while Ngannou is considered to be the scariest UFC heavyweight of all time. It would truly be a fun matchup where anything could happen.

However, making the fight hasn’t proved to be easy. Jones and the UFC have had some verbal back-and-forths over how much Jones should get paid for the fight. Negotiations have never had momentum and as a result, the UFC has started to move on.

Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) is the heavyweight who should be next in line all things considered. Lewis is the top heavyweight contender and holds a victory over the current heavyweight champion.

If Jones wasn’t in the picture, Lewis – Ngannou 2 would already be signed. The Black Beast talked with Ariel Helwani last week and said that August was looking great for his rematch with Francis Ngannou. 

By all indicators, it appeared that the UFC was moving in that direction. However, there has been a ton of recent trash talk online between Jones and Ngannou. Perhaps the promotion might try one last time to get the Jones – Ngannou fight booked.

What will the UFC do?

Derrick Lewis is a massive fan favorite and he’s already on board to fight Ngannou. Lewis said that his part of the negotiations is done with the UFC and he’s just waiting for the next steps.

With that, the promotion has Lewis in their back pocket. With the recent online trash talk, I could definitely see the promotion going back to Jones one last time to try and get this fight done.

An interesting development before the Twitter battle started was the fact that Jones parted ways with his managers. With that, it could pave the road to the fight getting done or it could have provided another roadblock.

Time will tell, but as of now, it looks like the UFC heavyweight title will be defended in August. Lewis is ready to go and he’s told the promotion he’s down. Ngannou will likely be on board as well. I can see the promotion taking the next couple of weeks to negotiate with Jones.

If they can get Jones on board, Jones is getting the fight. However, if it starts to drag again, I can see them having a quick trigger in switching to Lewis. Expect Ngannou to defend his title in August and before May is over, we will know who he’s fighting.

UFC: Stipe Miocic plans to bulk up in preparation of potential trilogy with Francis Ngannou

MMA, Stipe Miocic

Last month at UFC 260, the heavyweight championship was on the line. The greatest heavyweight champion in the promotion’s history, Stipe Miocic (20-4), was defending his title against Francis Ngannou (16-3).

The fight was a rematch from two years prior. In the first fight, Miocic dominated to retain his UFC heavyweight title. However, the second fight couldn’t have been more different.

Ngannou completely rushed the first fight and gassed himself out. The methodical Miocic paced himself and ended up dominating an exhausted Ngannou. In the second fight, Ngannou was very patient even when he hurt Miocic.

A big flurry in the second round sat Miocic down. He got back up to a swarming Ngannou. Miocic landed a beautiful step back right hand which appeared to stun Ngannou for just a second. This moment was the downfall of Stipe Miocic at UFC 260.

Thinking he had Ngannou hurt, Miocic rushed right into a left hook. The hook completely turned the lights out and Ngannou was crowned the heavyweight champion of the world.

Many were left wondering what would be next for Stipe Miocic after UFC 260. The man has nothing left to prove and he has another baby on the way. Many wondered if he would walk away from the sport.

However, Miocic was just interviewed on The Pat McAfee show, and he’s not planning on walking away. In fact, it’s bulking season for Miocic who is fully planning on completing the trilogy with the new UFC heavyweight champion.

Miocic wants his UFC title back

The former UFC heavyweight champion told McAfee, “I want to get back what’s mine. It’s bulking season. I’m gonna eat as much as I can and get big and strong… I’m trying to get to like, 250. I made 230 last time, not because I tried, but because of training. I’m really going to stick to really trying to gain a little bit of weight, a little bit more mass. I felt good but I think 20 pounds will help.”

While Miocic certainly isn’t small for a UFC heavyweight he was much smaller than Ngannou. Miocic appears to be taking the same strategy Frank Mir took after he lost to Brock Lesnar at UFC 100.

Mir realized he couldn’t defeat the size of Lesnar so he decided to bulk up and he went from 240 to 265. Now, Miocic is of course hoping his journey ends better than Mir’s did.

Miocic is still planning on taking time off to enjoy the birth of his son and spend time with family. Ngannou has his hands full with either Jon Jones or Derrick Lewis next so there’s no need to rush if you’re the former UFC champion.

But, make no mistake about it, Stipe Miocic isn’t going away. The greatest heavyweight of all time is planning on one more run to get back the title that he loves so much.