Recently Dana White came out and said that the UFC had offered Jon Jones a fight with Stipe Miocic. However Jon’s coach Mike Winklejohn says that this might not be the case, and even if it were Jon is likely not interested.
White made the claim that Miocic had accepted the offer to fight Jones, if Jon wanted to take the fight, in a move that reeked of hard nose negotiation tactics. Although Dana also said that Jon was not interested in fighting until 2022, which would potentially open the door for an immediate title shot.
Speaking in a recent interview, coach Winklejohn says that to his knowledge there has not been an offer for the fight. Moreover, he says that even if that bout was offered, it is not something that Jon is interested in doing at the moment.
“From the outside looking in, I would think that wouldn’t excite Jon. I think Jon wants the big one. He wants to get the big one, he wants the big challenge, and right now Stipe’s not there. Stipe is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but Jon wants the biggest challenge out there. That’s how Jon Jones thinks,” he said.
“That’s just me talking. For me it doesn’t seem that exciting for Jon, it doesn’t make sense. It makes sense to go after the title. Because honestly Jon is the best pound-for-pound of all time, so why would he have just a normal fight? Unless we felt we needed that to get used to our new body. I don’t think we need that, I think Jon is already getting used to his new size, so there is not a necessity to take a step up fight. Jon is ready to go, he wants the challenge.
Jon Jones Could Leapfrog Ciryl Gane
Currently the heavyweight title picture is a little muddied, with Francis Ngannou and Jon Jones both struggling with the UFC, and an interim title having just been given to Ciryl Gane. This would seemingly suggest that Gane will be next to face Francis, to unify the titles.
However Mike WInklejohn says that this might not be the case. If the UFC and Jon can come to an agreement, he could see the former light heavyweight champion skipping the queue and going straight for the champ.
“I think (Jon could leapfrog Gane). I would think so. I can’t put words in Jon Jones or his manager’s mouth by any means, please. But that makes sense to me. We’ve been training for Francis all along anyway, so it would keep on that same path,” Winklejohn said.
That being said, it does seem like the UFC is intent on having Ciryl Gane and Francis Ngannou fight before Jon enters the equation. Coach Wink says that if that is the case, Jon would have his hands full with either man, should they come out on top in their unification bout.
“The crazy power is always scary, it freezes up a lot of people. That’s what Francis has. He’s a scary, explosive guy. Gane can hit hard too, but he has more tools I believe, as far as fine tuned tools,” he said.
“So they’re different nuts for Jones to crack, depending on which one of those guys Jon has to fight. It’s different. They both are scary in their own way, and both very beatable in their own way.”
Who do you want to see Jon Jones fight in his heavyweight debut? Would Ciryl Gane or Francis Ngannou be the tougher fight for the former light heavyweight champ?