Legendary referee John McCarthy, who is a commentator and host of the analytics podcast, understands why UFC management has not allowed Stipe Miocic to fight for the interim heavyweight title after the division’s current champion, Jon Jones, was injured and sidelined for eight months.
“First of all, it’s his age, let’s be honest,” “Big” Jon said on another edition of his podcast. “At that age, they look at him and see he’s not a guy you can rely on. Yes, he used to be a champion and he’s got the longest title run in the heavyweight division – they want to capitalize on that by promoting a fight with Jones, but they’re not going to be able to reference that by promoting fights with other people, primarily because of his age.”
McCarthy’s interlocutor, Josh Thomson, agrees that the UFC doesn’t want to promote a scenario that could potentially put the heavyweight division in a difficult position.
“I think the scary thing for them is that he could win the interim title and not wait for Jones,” “Punk” said. “He could just walk away saying, ‘Well I kind of won the title before I left and John’s not ready to fight.’ Then the situation will get even more complicated and confusing.”
As a reminder, Sergey Pavlovic and Tom Aspinall will play for the interim heavyweight title at UFC 295 in New York City on Nov. 11, while the Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic fight will take place when the reigning champion recovers from surgery.