Stipe Miocic’s comeback title fight may be in jeopardy.
The current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) champion, Jon Jones, made his intentions clear once his return bout with Ciryl Gane was made official. “Bones,” 35, promised mixed martial arts (MMA) fans around the globe at least two more fights, indicating Gane and Miocic as his ideal match ups. With Gane out of the way, Miocic has been the next target ever since.
Unfortunately for Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic, their originally desired July 8, 2023, date in Las Vegas, Nevada for UFC 290 never came together. Now, it might not happen next at all, according to three-time UFC title challenger-turned-analyst and insider, Chael Sonnen.
“I’m hearing strong rumors that Stipe Miocic and Jones is going to go up in flames and that Sergei Pavlovich vs. Jones is happening in August,” Sonnen told Thiccc Boy. “Strong enough that I can tell you that’s at least being pursued. I don’t know where they are in agreeing, but that’s at least being pursued. And if you did have partners in Australia, you promised them ‘Izzy’ [Israel Adesanya] and you said, ‘Look, I can’t deliver but I can bring you Jones and Pavlovich, are we good?’ They’d probably say, ‘Yeah, we’re good.’
“I have to give Jon Jones credit, I really do and that pains me,” he continued. “I got to give him credit here because people have said he was going to fight Stipe Miocic then he was going to retire. It’s like well, hold on, people. Let me remind you of one thing. When you talk about the mindset, you talk like Jon Jones doesn’t have the courage, let me just remind you he thought he was fighting Francis, he agreed to fight Stipe, and he ended up in there with Ciryl.”
UFC is set to return to Australia with a Sydney pay-per-view, UFC 293, on Sept. 10, 2023. With the event’s announcement came rumblings that the Middleweight champion, Adesanya, was being targeted to face the winner of Robert Whittaker vs. Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 290.
Currently ranked at No. 3 in the promotion’s Heavyweight rankings, the 40-year-old Miocic (20-4) hasn’t fought since losing his title to Francis Ngannou via second round knockout in March 2021. Pavlovich (18-1), on the other hand, sits at No. 2 and has won three fights by knockout in that window.