Right now, the UFC heavyweight title picture is a mess. Division king Francis Ngannou is locked in a contract dispute with the promotion and there is no clear end in sight. Meaning the interim heavyweight title needs to return in the near future. However, when it comes to possible interim title contenders ESPN analyst and UFC great, Daniel Cormier is right when he recently suggested Jon Jones vs Stipe Miocic is the best fight to make for the placeholder title.
On Wednesday, former two-division champ Cormier spoke on the situation at the top of the UFC heavyweight division and proclaimed there is an obvious fight to make when the organization reintroduces an interim title. That bout being a clash between light heavyweight GOAT Jones (26-1) and the man considered to be the heavyweight BOAT, Miocic (20-4).
"I think we'll see another interim title and what makes sense for that interim title is Stipe Miocic and Jon Jones," Cormier said on his DC & RC podcast.
Cormier is not wrong about bringing back interim gold, and Jones vs Miocic really is the most sensible choice. Here are three reasons why "DC's" fantasy booking is the route the UFC needs to take for the title picture at heavyweight
3 reasons why Jon Jones vs Stipe Miocic for interim UFC gold is the fight to make
Ngannou vs UFC is a saga that will drag out for the rest of 2022
If you have been under a rock for the last month and a half, you may not realize that the relationship between the UFC and their current heavyweight champion is in the toilet. It was already bad before UFC 270, with reports of stalled negotiations and Ngannou's intention not to compete under the "champion's clause" in his deal.
However, it took an even uglier turn after Ngannou defeated interim titlist, Ciryl Gane, and UFC President Dana White was a no-show to wrap the belt around the defending champ and was MIA at the event's post-fight press conference. Although White claims he had a legitimate reason for his absence, "The Predator" also revealed two days later that the UFC threatened his agent with a lawsuit before the event. Suffice to say, things are bad and only getting worse despite what the promotion boss says.
Ngannou has been adamant that he will not fight under the extended terms of his contract, and he is willing to sit out the rest of the year and wait out his "champion's clause" obligations. Furthermore, the Cameroonian goliath will be out for at least six months to recover from major knee surgery. Considering White brought back the interim title in August when Ngannou was actually healthy, it is an eventuality the title returns in the middle of a contract dispute with an injured champion.
With the division as talent-rich as ever, it is actually a necessity to continue to make meaningful fights with high stakes at the top of the weight class. Meaning, the interim title must return, and post-haste.
Jones vs Miocic is the best option for the interim title
Despite the division being as deep as ever, there is no undisputed top contender. The first and second-ranked fighters -- Gane and Miocic -- lost to Ngannou in their last fights. Third-ranked Derrick Lewis was dominated by Gane late last year and fourth-ranked Curtis Blaydes was put to sleep by the man in front of him two fights ago.
However, Miocic and Jones have the resume cache that elevates them above this mix of fighters without winning streaks. Miocic is still viewed as the best UFC heavyweight of all time, is a legitimate top contender, and he's still in his prime years. That makes him deserving of a line jump into an interim title bout. Honestly, he probably should have been in the August interim fight with Gane, instead of Lewis. And publicly admitted his disappointment in that fact last Summer.
Although Jones has never fought at heavyweight, his place as arguably the greatest fighter of all time and the GOAT of the division below heavyweight makes him a natural fight for a title fight. Hate it or love it, that is fight game booking 101, and if a special talent like Jones wants to move up and fight for gold, you make that matchup.
Jones vs Miocic is the most marketable fight in the division
Speaking of fight game booking 101, if you have the chance to pair up two legends, while they are still at the height of their abilities, you do it. It is an absolute no-brainer. There is no other fight in the entire division that is more marketable to a diehard and mainstream audience than Jones vs Miocic.
Two-time light heavyweight king versus two-time heavyweight king. As Jones looks to become the sixth two-division champion in UFC history by beating the greatest heavyweight to ever do it. A normal fight between the two is historic on their career merits, but putting a title on the line makes it legendary, while also being a pay-per-view headliner with the capability of being one of the best selling bouts on the promotion's 2022 calendar.
Do you agree with "DC," and Jones vs Miocic is the fight to make next?