Jon Jones is looking to make up for lost time ahead of his UFC 285 heavyweight title fight against Ciryl Gane.
The former light heavyweight champion is making his long-awaited trip up the scales after a two-year absence, and should he win, he’s setting his sights on former champion Stipe Miocic. Miocic has been inactive since losing the title to recently released champion Francis Ngannou, but has been long linked to Jones’ proposed heavyweight run.
Jones is not taking Gane lightly, yet he is aware that beating Miocic would be a tremendous statement in his Hall of Fame career. Miocic is often regarded as one of the greatest heavyweights of all time and currently holds the division’s record for successful title defenses.
“People consider him the greatest heavyweight of all time,” Jones said of Miocic. “The opportunity to compete against such a man, I’d be honored.”
Miocic has stated that he is willing and ready to face the Jones vs. Gane winner, despite his disappointment he wouldn’t get a third crack at Ngannou, leaving their records tied at one apiece.
Jones vs. Miocic has been discussed previously
Jones vs. Miocic was initially slated to be the main event of UFC 282. Miocic later revealed it was the plan until it wasn’t, and opted to slot Jones opposite Gane for the vacated title.
“[Jones] It’s a great fight, it’s a great match for me, but at the end of the day, it’s unfortunately not my decision. But we will see what will happen. I think these two guys are going to come out and fight, they’re both players, and I’d love to get a crack on one of these guys, whoever wins it.”
Inactivity and talks of retirement have hovered over the 40-year-old former champion, but he is still hungry to compete. Prior to the Ngannou loss, Miocic went 2-1 against Jones’ former rival Daniel Cormier in a celebrated trilogy of bouts.
While the jury is out on Jones pending the outcome of the Gane fight, Miocic was always going to be a tough ask for him. Before his own inactivity, Jones was already starting to show signs of a decline at light heavyweight. He was bailed out by judges in back-to-back fights against Thiago Santos and Dominic Reyes, and now 35, he’s going up against one of the most versatile heavyweights in the division.
Should Jones defeat Gane and Miocic, especially after the long layoff and poor performances, Jones would have no obstacles to claim the status of the MMA GOAT.