During the press conference following the UFC 285 main event on Saturday, in which Jon Jones defeated Ciryl Gane to win the heavyweight title, Jones sent a message to the former heavyweight champion, Stipe Miocic.
At UFC 285, Jon Jones made his triumphant return to the octagon, after three years away, and claimed the heavyweight title over Ciryl Gane in dominant fashion. Immediately following the bout, he called for a match with Stipe Miocic, who was in the crowd at the time of the post-fight interview.
Miocic agreed to the challenge, and Dana White has confirmed that plans are in the works for the two to meet at UFC 290 in July.
During the UFC 285 post-fight press conference, Jones had this to say to the former heavyweight champion, who is arguably considered one of the greatest heavyweights of all time:
Jon Jones has a message for Stipe Miocic… ☠️ pic.twitter.com/7b76c1uzrU
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) March 6, 2023
“I say this respectfully to Stipe — I would take time off from being a firefighter right now. And I mean that with all due respect, My whole world is going to be focused on him. This is the biggest opportunity in my life to beat the heavyweight GOAT, and I’m going to give it everything I’ve got, absolutely everything I’ve got.”
“Stipe is talking about the fact that he’s heavier than me right now — his head is already in the wrong spot. If he thinks weightlifting is going to beat me, he’ll never be younger than he is right now, he’ll never be faster. And I’m going to not only beat Stipe, I’m going to finish him before the championship rounds.”
However, Miocic feels that Jones is “trying to pump himself up” he exclaimed during a recent interview on ‘The MMA Hour’.
“I think everyone tries to say that and then realize they’re in a world of hurt when it’s not happening the way they want,”
Furthermore, he is supremely confident in his ability to beat the current heavyweight titleholder:
Stipe Miocic feels he will beat Jon Jones “no question” 👀 #TheMMAHour
“I know that [he’s never lost]. It sucks that he’s going to lose.”
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) March 6, 2023
Miocic went on to describe what he was expecting from the main event at UFC 285, versus what actually went down, and gave his thoughts on how he believes Gane got caught up in the big moment.
— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) March 6, 2023
“Yes, 100%,” Miocic said of Gane. “I just think he got caught up in the moment, the bright lights, and I don’t think he expected everything to happen the way it did.”
Miocic has not fought since his 2021 rematch with Francis Ngannou, which he lost via knockout in the second round. Prior to that, he was coming off back to back wins over Daniel Cormier in 2019 and 2020.
While he has not been overly active in recent years, not many feel that Jones will walk through him in any way similar to what was witnessed at UFC 285. Miocic has intelligent boxing ability, and most importantly, high level wrestling experience, which is clearly what Gane was missing in his bout with Jones.
With the well-rounded skill set of Miocic, this should make for an excellent matchup with Jones to determine who the best heavyweight on the planet is.
Interview transcription credit: mmanews.com