Rumors are circulating that the UFC is targeting a matchup between former UFC Heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones for a potential super fight for each fighter’s return to action.
In a recent interview with TMZ Sports, UFC president Dana White said that a super fight between Stipe Miocic and Jon Jones is being targeted for this summer.
“I was just telling somebody the other day, our lineup for this summer is incredible,” White stated. “So I’m hoping Jon Jones is going to be part of that lineup this summer. … Stipe makes sense.”
While nothing is official, an anonymous source within the UFC claimed that the fight is currently in the works for UFC 276 on July 2, scheduled to take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Both Stipe Miocic and Jon Jones have spent considerable time on the sidelines, with each fighter having disputes with the UFC over matchmaking and fight purses. Stipe hasn’t fought since losing his belt to Francis Ngannou at UFC 260 and has since expressed that he only has interest in two fights - a rematch with Ngannou, or a super fight with Jon Jones.
Jones has been out of action even longer, with his last bout being his decision victory of Dominick Reyes back at UFC 247, more than 2 years ago. “Bones” has been teasing at a move to heavyweight for what seems like forever; it’s something every diehard UFC fan knew was going to happen at some point. The only question was: when?
There were talks of Bones moving up for a showdown with Ngannou shortly after the “Predator” knocked out Miocic and became the undisputed champion. Both Jon and Francis have had their issues with Dana White and the UFC over fight purses, with both men believing they are being undervalued.
Francis Ngannou is currently recovering from a successful knee surgery that will likely keep him out of commission until next year. Ngannou has made it clear that he will not fight again under the current terms of his contract, leaving an air of uncertainty whether we’ll ever see him enter the Octagon again. As disappointing as it would be for UFC fans, there is a chance that Ngannou will ride out the “championship clause” of his contract, not fighting until he can become a free agent.
While teasing the move to heavyweight, Jon Jones made it clear that he intended to fight for the championship when he finally joined the UFC’s largest weight class. It’s well deserved for the man many consider the greatest MMA fighter of all time, spanning an illustrious UFC career that is nearly 15 years old.
Given those circumstances, a super fight between Stipe Miocic and Jon Jones for an interim title makes perfect sense. Not only is it a fight that would have broad appeal with the general public, it’s also a diehard fan’s dream matchup: the greatest heavyweight in UFC history welcoming the greatest light heavyweight in UFC history and arguably the greatest fighter of all time.
Early betting odds have Jon Jones as a sizable favorite, being listed at -200 against a +170 line for Miocic. It’s a tough matchup for Stipe, who will have to overcome Jones’ length, creative striking, and superior submission game. Still, Miocic has one-punch knockout power that could serve as a rude welcome to the heavyweight division for Jones.
Hopefully the UFC can get this fight official and pay these athletes their worth. Miocic, Jones, and Ngannou have all had their issues with the UFC brass, but this super fight is too good of an opportunity to pass up. UFC 276 lines up with international fight week, so a showdown between two of the greatest competitors the sport has ever seen has the potential to be one of the biggest events of the year.
The fans want it, the fighters want it, the UFC wants it…so, make it happen, Dana!