By Dane McGuire
One of the biggest bouts in UFC heavyweight history and the sport of MMA as a whole is finally happening. The consensus greatest heavyweight Stipe Miocic and former light heavyweight turned new king of 265 pounds, Jon Jones, are done talking.
The time to scrap is quickly approaching. The battle was officially announced just ahead of UFC 290.
“Jon Jones, the great mixed martial artist of all time, will defend his title against the greatest heavyweight of all-time, former champ Stipe Miocic,” UFC President Danna White announced via social media. “They headline UFC 295 on Saturday, Nov. 11 at The Mecca, Madison Square Garden in New York City. This is the fight Jon Jones wanted. It’s the fight Stipe wanted and it is a legacy fight for both of these guys.”
Jones won the heavyweight title by taking out Ciryl Gane via first round submission at UFC 285 last March. The winner earned the undisputed designation as now former champion Francis Ngannou would exit the UFC for the PFL and be stripped of the belt. Jones had been out of action for three years.
Miocic is also returning to action for the first time in three years and heads into the contest with the most divisional title defenses (three), two of which include victories over Daniel Cormier in their trilogy.
“Honestly, I thought it was going to a decision,” Miocic said during the UFC 285 post-fight show. “I didn’t know how Jon was, he took three years off but hats off to him. You see some things, I’ll keep them to myself but I definitely see some things [I can use].
“It’s a fight, he won, good for him. Hats off, but unfortunately he’s got to fight me in July,” Miocic said at the time.
“He’s a big boy,” Miocic added. “He’s 6-foot-4, 247 [pounds] or something like that. I’m bigger than that. We’re all big boys at heavyweight. I actually weigh more than both of them right now. I actually weigh 253 [pounds] so it’s kind of nice.
“I think a lot of things [about the fight]. Just something he hasn’t seen before. I know it’s cliché and everyone says it but honestly that’s the truth.”
Thanks to his time at light heavyweight, Jones has the most wins in UFC title fights ever (15). Although the fight would be Jones’ first title defense in a new division, a single successful defense could mean the end of his road after such a long run at 205 pounds.
“I think the Stipe fight will be plenty for me,” Jones said. “I feel like I don’t have too much to prove after beating Stipe Miocic. I’ve been in the game for a long time. In fighter years, I’m an old guy. I’ve been training a long time and been in the game a long time. Got some small injuries. I just really want to be around. I want to be around for my family, be around for my kids. I want to be able to play with my kids, have a good head on my shoulders. … I could see it coming to an end really soon and I’m happy with that. I’m really proud of my career.”