Jon Jones isn’t going to stay here after facing Stipe Miocic.
Heavyweight champion Jones (MMA 27-1, UFC 21-1) is expected to make his first defense against Miocic (MMA 20-4, UFC 14-4) in November. And the all-time great thinks it’s likely him. Final battle.
“My goal now is to have another big fight with Stipe Miocic at Madison Square Garden, and then hang on for a bit,” Jones told Fox Sports Australia.
Aside from a disqualification loss in a fight dominated by Matt Hamill, Jones has never lost in MMA. Jones, the perennial light heavyweight champion, eventually decided to let go of the belt and take some time off.
He returned from a three-year hiatus as a heavyweight and needed just one round to beat Ciryl Gane at UFC 285 in March to claim the vacant belt. Jones’ resume is already full of former champions and his UFC Hall of Famers, and adding Miocic would be a cherry on top.
“I think the Stipe fight is enough,” Jones said. “After beating Stipe Miocic, I feel like I don’t have much to prove. I was out and got a small injury – I really want to be around.
“Stay close to my family, stay close to my kids. I can do it, and I’m happy with it. I’m really proud of my career.”
But if there’s one person who can keep him, it’s former champion Francis Ngannou, who left the UFC after failing to agree a new contract. However, the battle did not materialize.
If Jones passes Miocic, streaking knockout artist Sergei Pavlovich will be waiting in the wings, but Jones doesn’t feel any incentive to take up the fight.
“I believe the fight against Francis Ngannou is worth not retiring and enjoying,” Jones said. “I think a match with Francis would bring in a good amount of money and it would be well worth my time. Francis is a former champion and very popular not only here in the United States but around the world. That’s a lot. and for that I will gladly return. Everyone talks about Sergei, Sergey is a big challenge, but no one knows who he is.
“In the grand scheme of things, no one knows who he is. I think I said the word best. Well worth the risk and well worth the money. So who knows? Maybe the UFC can come in the right numbers and make this Sergey thing happen. But so far, I’ve got all the accolades and nothing to really prove. “