UFC president, Dana White has revealed that former two-time heavyweight champion, Stipe Miocic has been offered and has accepted a bout with former two-time light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones — as the pair look to earn a title tilt.
Dropping the title in March of this year at UFC 260, Ohio native, Miocic suffered a massive second round knockout defeat to Ngannou in the pair’s rematch. In the time since, Miocic has yet to make a return to the Octagon, and has been linked with a potential move to Singapore-based outfit, ONE Championship.
For Jones, the Jackson-Wink MMA staple has been out of action since a narrow successful title knockout opposite Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 back in February of last year, eeking out a close split decision victory. Vacating his title last August, Jones announced his intentions to finally make the leap to the heavyweight division.
However, any hopes for a move to the division have been halted amid rather public negotiation fallouts between Jones and the UFC, with the former explaining how he wants to be compensated fairly to make the move and take on defending champion, Ngannou.
As a result, the promotion has elected to install an interim heavyweight championship into the division, after the fact Ngannou was unable to make a UFC 265 date. In turn, expected title challenger, Derrick Lewis will meet with the undefeated, Ciryl Gane for an interim crown this weekend at the Toyota Centre in Houston, Texas.
With the fighting future of both Miocic and Jones in limbo somewhat, UFC leader, White claimed recently that Miocic had accepted a bout to meet with Jones in the latter’s divisional bow.
“Me and (Jon) Jones have had that type of relationship his whole career,” White said during an appearance on the Nelk Boys’ Full Send podcast. “When he’s (Jones) ready to fight we are ready to go. He’s talking about fighting at heavyweight. But, in the heavyweight division right now we are going back to Houston, Derrick Lewis is talking on Ciryl Gane and whoever wins that fight will fight Francis Ngannou. Whoever wins that fight, if Jon Jones wants to come back he can fight one of them. Or, he can fight Stipe Miocic. Stipe has accepted that fight and will take that fight.“
Although White has claimed that Miocic has accepted an outing against Jones, he stressed that he doesn’t expect the Rochester native to fight this year; “He’s (Jones) not fighting until next year.“
Jones, on the other hand, has explained in a series of deleted tweets in the past that he would not be fighting Miocic in his heavyweight divisional bow, but stressed that once he clinches the title, he would have no problem defending it opposite the veteran.
“Don’t get excited people, I’m not fighting Stipe (Miocic),” Jones tweeted and deleted. “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 in better athlete right now than I’ve ever been before.. (sic) I’m just going to keep training my ass off.“
“I’m sick of hearing the same sh*t, ‘You’re not a big enough star, you don’t bring in enough paper (sic) view. I’m ready to fight fights that will bring in the pay-per-view. The world wants to see some black-on-black crime right now and I’m ready to give it to them.” (H/T Bleacher Report)
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