There is still no clear timetable on when Jon Jones could make his debut in the Ultimate Fighting Championship's heavyweight division, but it seems that when he is ready, Stipe Miocic is ready to take on the challenge of the former light heavyweight champion.
Pound-for-pound king Jon Jones has not seen the inside of the Octagon since his final, and successful, title defense against Dominick Reyes 17 months ago. Since then, the 34-year-old vacated his title and looked to put on weight for an eventual move to the heavyweight division.
Stipe Miocic vs Jon Jones in 2022?
At one time there was a push for "Bones" to face off with heavyweight star Francis Ngannou before he eventually became the division king. However, a bout never materialized when the promotion was unwilling to meet Jones' alleged hefty asking price for the fight. Ngannou now looks lined up to face the winner of the UFC 265 main event interim title fight between Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane next. At least that's what UFC President Dana White told the hosts of the ">Full Send Podcast [h /t BJPenn] recently.
Along with those plans for the heavyweight title picture, the UFC boss informed the show that when Jones does pick a return date in 2022, former two-time heavyweight champion Miocic has already accepted the opportunity to welcome the New York native to his new division.
"When [Jones is] ready to fight, we're ready to go. He's talking about fighting heavyweight, but in the heavyweight division right now we're going to a Houston in a couple of weeks. Derrick Lewis is taking on Ciryl Gane for the interim championship. Whoever wins that fight, will fight Francis Ngannou," said White. "And then whoever wins that fight, if Jon Jones wants to come back, he can fight one of them, or he could fight Stipe Miocic. Stipe has accepted that fight and will take that fight."
Miocic (20-4) has not competed in the UFC since losing the heavyweight title in a knockout loss to Ngannou in March at UFC 260. The 38-year-old is just one of two men to hold the heavyweight belt more than once (Randy Couture) and is recognized by many as the greatest heavyweight in UFC history.
Despite having one loss in 27 professional fights, Jones (26-1) has yet to lose cleanly in his fighting career. The lone bout in the L column on his resume was a disqualification defeat to Matt Hamill in 2009, after he was charged with using illegal elbows in a fight he was easily winning. Jones is considered by many to be the GOAT of MMA.
Now the world will wait to see if Jones accepts the fight. Do you want to see Stipe Miocic vs Jon Jones in 2022?