Stipe Miocic had a front row seat to witness Jon Jones become the new heavyweight champion in the UFC 285 main event but his biggest concern was getting his own shot at the title.
Already guaranteed to get the first crack at Jones later this year, the now 40-year-old Cleveland native didn’t seem overly impressed by what he witnessed on Saturday night, although he admitted the way the fight played out surprised him.
” “Honestly, it was going to be a decision,” Miocic stated during UFC 285’s post-fight program. I didn’t know Jon, but he was a three-year old. Hats off to him. While I don’t see all the details, you can see that I see some [I can use]. things.
“It’s a fight, he won, good for him. He’s going to have to face me in July .”
. Hats off.
Miocic has been anxiously awaiting his opportunity to compete for heavyweight gold again after he lost his belt to Francis Ngannou back in March 2021.
He tried initially to arrange an instant rematch with Jones after splitting fights against Ngannou, but his wishes were not granted. Now after two years away, Miocic is ready to return with UFC president Dana White promising him the first shot at Jones now that he’s champion.
Although he wasn’t able to get any material, Jones took just two minutes to kill Gane. However, Miocic sounds positive that there will be plenty more surprises once he returns to the octagon.
“He’s a big boy,” Miocic said about Jones. “He’s 6-foot-4, 247 [pounds] or something like that. I’m bigger than that. We’re all big boys at heavyweight. I actually weigh more than both of them right now. I actually weigh 253 [pounds] so it’s kind of nice.
“I think a lot of things [about the fight]. He has never seen it before. It’s cliché and everybody says it, but it is the truth .”
As he’s previously stated, Miocic was actually hoping he would have the opportunity to welcome Jones to heavyweight but the UFC opted to give the fight to Gane instead.
That delayed Miocic’s plans to return to action but he promises that training camp has already started as he targets a showdown against Jones at UFC 290 scheduled on July 8 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
” “Nothing is going to change,” Miocic stated. “I’m going to train my ass off and I’m going to beat that ass. Yes, 100 percent no questions [I want July]. It was my dream to fight them in March but it didn’t happen. They gave it to Ciryl but unfortunately I’ll wait until July, it’s fine.
” You’ll find out in July.
“You’ll find out in July.
As much as Miocic wants July, White wasn’t ready to commit to booking the fight on that date just yet, although it would make sense for one of the marquee cards in 2023. International Fight Week has been a major focus of the UFC every year, so Jones vs. Miocic could be a big main event on that card.
Add to that, Conor McGregor is expected to return against Michael Chandler but that fight won’t take place until after The Ultimate Fighter 31 finishes airing in August. Jones and Miocic would have the opportunity to be in the limelight July, with the title of heavyweight champion up for grabs.