Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic, a dream fight in every sense of the word, is looking unlikely to happen.
Though Jones and Miocic were expected to face off in the summer, reports are emerging that the fight is in dire straits. Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen Jones engage boxing heavyweight champion Tyson Fury to challenge him in the UFC. Predictably, UFC President Dana White has publicly thrown his weight behind a fight that is a statistical impossibility to ever happen.
Not too long after, reports began coming out that Jones may not be facing Miocic. Daniel Cormier and Chael Sonnen spoke separately that talks have broken down. Both believe Miocic is no longer in the running to challenge Jones this summer.
Cormier shared his thoughts on his YouTube channel. He cites the Fury talk as a troubling indicator the fight might be off.
“…We just missed Francis Ngannou vs. Jon Jones — one that we have wanted for a long time. Now we got Jon Jones talking to Tyson Fury, which Dana said, ‘Hey, we’ll make it happen.’ Dana said it…I don’t know what’s happening right now on the backend that’s not allowing for this to come together, but it needs to come together for the sake of the heavyweight division. Because right now, we can’t afford to have Jones missing for as long as he was last time or even a fraction of that.”
Miocic is in his 40s and hasn’t fought in two years. If the Jones fight doesn’t happen now, it’s safe to consider it a wash.
Sergei Pavlovich may face Jon Jones instead
Chael Sonnen echoed similar concerns on the Thiccc Boy show, adding that Sergei Pavlovich is now in play for Jones. According to Sonnen, Jones vs. Pavlovich may end up being the main event for the Sydney-based UFC 293.
“I’m hearing strong rumors that Stipe and Jones is going to go up in flames and that Sergei Pavlovich vs. Jones is happening in August…I’m hearing strong rumors on that. 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.”
Sonnen also mentions that the UFC is pursuing this route because middleweight Israel Adesanya may not have an opponent For UFC 293. Adesanya is currently waiting on the outcome of the Robert Whittaker vs. Dricus Du Plessis fight at UFC 290. None of the top middleweights are available, or marketable enough for a pay-per-view main event.
Pavlovich is coming off a career-best win over Curtis Blaydes at UFC Fight Night 222. The win was Pavlovich’s eighth straight first-round knockout win, and many consider Pavlovich a legitimate threat to Jones. The win instilled Pavlovich as the #2 heavyweight behind the inactive Miocic. It may end up that his fortunes may change in the coming weeks.