Ex-UFC Heavyweight Champ Stipe Miocic Looking ‘Absolutely Massive’ Ahead of His Tentative Return to the Octagon

Stipe Miocic is walking around close to the heavyweight limit according to Anthony Smith

Stipe Miocic
Courtesy of @stipemiocic on Instagram

Stipe Miocic is looking absolutely jacked and more focused than ever on fighting according to light heavyweight standout Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith.

Miocic, the man many consider to be the greatest heavyweight fighter in UFC history, seemingly walked away from the sport following a second-round knockout loss to Francis Ngannou more than two years ago. While Miocic never officially retired, he has not seemed overly concerned with returning to the Octagon. Until now that is. 

Appearing on The Schaub Show alongside former UFC heavyweight standout Brendan Schaub, Anthony Smith revealed that he had dinner with Miocic a few weeks back and was taken aback by how jacked the former two-time UFC champion has gotten during his time away from the sport. 

“He’ll beat almost every single heavyweight out there. The caveats there are [Sergei] Pavlovich and Stipe [Miocic]. The Stipe that fought Daniel Cormier the first time, Jon Jones probably manhandles [him], but I had dinner with Stipe probably three weeks ago. He’s absolutely massive. Dude is jacked. Probably 255, 260. He’s yolked. Like, in the firehouse just lifting weights the whole time yolked and he looks good.”

Anthony Smith was Surprised by How Focused Stipe Miocic is on the Fight Game These Days

Anthony Smith also noted that Miocic is seemingly more focused on the fight game, a sign that he could be going all-in on his potential clash with reigning heavyweight king Jon Jones in a fight that is tentatively slated for the end of 2023. 

“Sometimes you can tell when Stipe is mentally around or not. So, even in the first two DC fights, he seemed kinda half in, half out. Like he didn’t really give a sh*t. Now he’s asking me… Me and Stipe never talk about fighting. He’s just that guy. He doesn’t really watch fights. He’s not even a really big fan of the sport, but we spent the whole dinner talking about fighting techniques and footwork and movement. I was like, ‘Damn, I didn’t know you even knew any of that stuff.’ 

“So mentally he’s focused for sure and physically I know that he looks a lot better than he has in a long time. He’s definitely been paying attention to his body. He’s lifting and I think that’s smart. a 230-pound Stipe that went in versus DC is going to have a lot of problems with Jon Jones but at 255 or 260 and fast and moving with his boxing on point, I think that’s a tough fight [for Jones].”

One concern addressed by Schaub was the speed that Miocic could be sacrificing by adding 20-30 pounds of muscle. Smith suggested that the slight dip in mobility may be a non-issue considering how Jones looked during his brief encounter with Ciryl Gane at UFC 285. 

“I think the one thing that may help Stipe is that Jon has probably… Again, it’s really tough because we didn’t see a lot of Jon [at heavyweight]. It was such an awful sample size, but in that short sample that we have, he didn’t look to move as well. And that could have been a little bit of ring rust because he was out for three years. Again, there might be other things, but he didn’t seem to move as well and he didn’t seem as fast.

“So if Stipe slows down just a little bit, he may still be faster than Jon. And who knows what Jon looks like over 25 minutes. That was the sh*ttiest part. I didn’t really care who won, I wanted to see Ciryl Gane push Jon’s striking and have his bouncing in an out style and force Jon to chase him, just to see how Jon moves because Jon has never been… He moves well moving forward and back, but he’s never been a big angle cutter. I wanted to see if he could do that at heavyweight.”

Though no official announcements have been made, Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic is expected to headline UFC 295 in November when the promotion returns to the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden. 

Published on June 15, 2023 at 2:01 pm
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