UFC president Dana White has confirmed that former champion Stipe Miocic will be Jon Jones’ first challenger as heavyweight titleholder.
After three years of lingering doubts about his heavyweight run, Jon Jones was able to silence all of that at UFC 285 on Saturday. “Bones” disposed of Ciryl Gane with ease, submitting the former interim champion inside half a round to become the undisputed heavyweight champion.
Right after the bout, Jones directed his attention to ex-champion Stipe Miocic, who was in attendance that night. The newly-minted champ called out Miocic, whom he also deemed as the greatest heavyweight of all time.
“Y’all want to see me beat up Stipe?” Jones said addressing the Las Vegas crowd during his Octagon interview with Joe Rogan. “One thing I know about the UFC is we give the fans what they want to see.
“Stipe Miocic, I hope you’re training, my guy. You’re the greatest heavyweight of all time, and that’s what I want. I want you. Real bad.”
During the post-fight scrum, UFC president Dana White did confirm that this is the fight to make next.
“I don’t know when, but he’s definitely fighting Stipe,” White told the media.
For White, Jones is now the undeniable GOAT. And if he does end up winning against Miocic, retirement could be a possibility.
“He wants to fight Stipe so we’ll make the Stipe fight. And whatever he wants to do after that, we’ll be lucky if we get to see him again. Or maybe he doesn’t, maybe he retires after that. I don’t know.”
Back in November, White shut down reports of a supposed fight between Jones and Miocic, supposedly for December 2022 in Vegas. The former heavyweight champ, who turns 41 this year, hasn’t fought since his second-round knockout loss to Francis Ngannou at UFC 260 in 2021.
About the author: Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments. (full bio)