Stipe Miocic will have his eyes locked on Saturday night’s UFC heavyweight title fight between the returning Jon Jones and No. 1 ranked contender Ciryl Gane.
Miocic, considered by many to be the undisputed UFC heavyweight GOAT, has been absent from the Octagon since suffering a second-round knockout against Francis Ngannou at UFC 260. Some speculated that we may never see Miocic step back into the cage, but that appears to have changed now that Jon Jones is finally making his heavyweight debut. Miocic will likely return later this year to take on the winner of Saturday’s main event showdown, but before that, he sat down with another former UFC heavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier.
Miocic shared his thoughts on the UFC 285 headliner and raised some concerns over what version of Jon Jones we will see inside the Octagon given his lengthy layoff.
“Interesting matchup just because you got Jones who’s been out for three years,” Miocic said on Cormier’s YouTube channel. “He’s been training. He’s 250 (pounds) now. He said he still has the speed, but it’s a big difference. It looks way different and that speed, you might think you’re faster, but you might not be that much faster.
“Ciryl, that guy’s a gamer. He throws just like Jones. Those kicks like that and moving around. He’s gone five rounds, but also Jon Jones, he has stuff that no one’s ever seen. He catches you. He sets you up perfectly, but I feel the same way with Ciryl. So as much as I want to pick a fighter in this fight, because I would, it’s just going to depend because on Jon Jones because he’s going to be rusty. It’s been three years. I know he’s been in a lot of fights, but it’s been three years. That’s a lot of years. And Ciryl, we’ll see what happens there. Does he step up like, ‘I got Jon Jones’ or does he sink in like, ‘Oh my god, it’s Jon Jones.'”
Stipe Miocic was allegedly offered the winner of Jones vs Gane at UFC 285 pic.twitter.com/nnMtgTitER
— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) March 3, 2023
Stipe Miocic is Backing the Underdog on Saturday Night
Asked who he believes will leave the T-Mobile Arena with heavyweight gold wrapped around their waist, Stipe Miocic with going with the underdog.
“I would go with Gane by just a little bit because I think he’s even more active and all that. He’s a big man. Heavyweight’s a different matchup.”
Currently, Ciryl Gane is a +150 underdog per DraftKings while Jon Jones is the favorite at -175. The odds for Jones have widened in recent days. Initially, betters could get ‘Bones’ as a much more favorable -155, but as the event has drawn closer, more fans are putting their money on Jones to get the job done Saturday night. Though a matchup against Jones would probably be more scintillating for Miocic, the former heavyweight champion revealed that he will challenge whoever leaves Las Vegas with the title. As it turns out, that potential title fight could go down this July during International Fight Week.
“They said International Fight Week,” Miocic revealed. “That’s what I was told.”
Stipe Miocic made it known that he was interested in being the fighter to greet Jon Jones in his move up to the heavyweight division. However, according to Miocic, the opportunity to make that fight happen never presented itself due to scheduling conflicts or other issues with timing.
“I think miscommunication,” Miocic said. “I was down for the fight, I just think they went in a different direction every time. Nothing against the UFC, they’re just trying to make the fights, I get it, and unfortunately, it just wasn’t my time again. There was only one time I just couldn’t fight because I physically wasn’t ready, I had a lot going on. I said, ‘I can’t do it in eight weeks, I can do it in 12.’ They said, ‘No, it’s OK, we’re doing it.’ It just didn’t work out.”
The promotion recently announced that its annual International Fight Week will run from July 3-9. The week of fan-friendly festivities will be capped off by UFC 290 at T-Mobile Arena. If all goes according to plan, Stipe Miocic will make his own return to the Octagon for a UFC heavyweight title showdown with this weekend’s big winner.