Jon Jones will officially defend his UFC heavyweight title for the first time against Stipe Miocic.
The UFC is currently celebrating International Fight Week, which wouldn’t be complete without a special announcement. Moments before the UFC 290 ceremonial weigh-ins, a video of Dana White revealing a highly-anticipated fight was released.
In the video, the UFC president confirmed Jones and Miocic will fight at UFC 295 on November 11 in Madison Square Garden. White had this to say:
“For the heavyweight championship of the world, Jon Jones, the greatest mixed martial arts of all time, will defend his title against the greatest heavyweight of all time, former champion, Stipe Miocic. They headline UFC 295 on Saturday, November 11th at the Mecca, Madison Square Garden in New York City.”
On March 4, Jon Jones returned from a three-year layoff to face Ciryl Gane for the vacant heavyweight title. ‘Bones’ did what he does best and silenced the doubters by securing a first-round submission to further his legacy.
Meanwhile, Stipe Miocic hasn’t fought in nearly two and a half years. The former UFC heavyweight champion is coming off a devastating second-round knockout loss against Francis Ngannou. The Ohio native looks to utilize his experience and toughness to reclaim the heavyweight crown.
— UFC (@ufc) July 7, 2023
Dana White emphasizes that Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic both wanted this legacy fight
Shortly after defeating Ciryl Gane, Jon Jones called out Stipe Miocic, who was sitting cageside. Since then, there has been widespread confusion about why the fight didn’t become official sooner. At one point, Jones accused Miocic of ducking, while the latter continuously claimed he wanted the matchup.
During the official announcement video, Dana White stated that both fighters wanted the must-see matchup for their legacies:
“This is the fight Jon Jones wanted. This is the fight Stipe wanted. It is a legacy fight for both of these guys. It’s official, it’s done, make your plans now, and I will see you at the fights.”
According to BetOnline, Jon Jones is a sizeable -365 betting favorite, with Stipe Miocic as a +300 underdog. Although most fighters don’t believe in ring rust, it’ll be intriguing to see if Miocic’s inactivity will be a difference-maker at UFC 295.
Safe to say, the former UFC heavyweight champion has his hands full, as Jones made a flawless transition to his new division.
Jon Jones is a huge favourite in the GOAT vs. GOAT showdown with Stipe Miocic 🐐
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) July 7, 2023