Former two-time UFC heavyweight champion, Stipe Miocic has claimed he is open to a potential Octagon return against former two-time light heavyweight titleholder, Jon Jones — but remains eager to score a trilogy rubber match with current division gold holder, Francis Ngannou if possible.
Ohio favorite, Miocic last featured in the main event of UFC 260 back in March, attempting to lodge a second career victory over Cameroonian knockout phenom, Ngannou to defend his heavyweight title. However, the second championship reign of Miocic came to a firm halt in the second round courtesy of a brutal knockout from Ngannou.
Following his loss to Ngannou, the promotion eventually introduced an interim heavyweight title to the division, with Ciryl Gane stopping Derrick Lewis in August to win the crown. According to Miocic, however, the organization never offered him the opportunity to compete for interim gold — something which he claimed irked him.
“I would have loved to have been asked,” Miocic told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “I feel like I understand what the UFC’s doing, it’s a business, but at the same time I think that I deserved a trilogy fight.“
“I wasn’t even asked for the interim fight,” Miocic said. “Who knows if I would have taken it but just it would have been nice to be asked. Just toes in the water. I don’t know. We don’t know. It’s over with.“
Whilst an interim title fight return failed to come to fruition, Miocic was briefly linked to a non-title fight with the above-mentioned, Jones. However, the latter quickly put the kibosh on that matchup — claiming he only wants to fight the current titleholder in his heavyweight bow.
“I’m down,” Miocic said of a potential matchup with Jones. “I don’t think he [Jon Jones] wanted it. I don’t know the whole story but I’m down. Then he wants a title shot, I know he’s done well, he’s probably one of the greatest of all time but you’ve still got to wait your order. That’s like me going to light heavyweight and being like, ‘I want a shot.’“
As far as a plan for 2022 goes, Miocic has firm ambitions to regain his heavyweight throne and wants to match with Ngannou in a trilogy tiebreaker for definite.
“I’ll fight anyone like I always say [but] I really want that trilogy fight,” Miocic said. “That [title] was mine. I want it back. Definitely get a trilogy. Get my shot back at the title. Get my belt back. Back to normal. Everything’s back to normal.” (H/T MMA Fighting)
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