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Stipe Miocic contract talks going well, hoping to return in first quarter of 2018

Junior dos Santos and Stipe Miocic Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The UFC heavyweight champion is on the comeback trail.

Contract talks have finally restarted between Stipe Miocic’s camp and the promotion, MMA Fighting has learned. According to sources, the talks are trending in the right direction and there is optimism Miocic will return to action to defend his title in the first quarter of 2018.

Miocic hasn’t fought since his May win over Junior dos Santos at UFC 211. Over the past year Miocic, who typically shies away from drama, has been vocal about being unhappy with his current contract.

In July, his management team said Miocic would not return to action until his contract was restructured. The main issue has been that Miocic, who is on the verge of beating the heavyweight record for most title defenses (2), has earned less than the challenger in his last two title defenses (JDS and Alistair Overeem.)

What’s unclear at this time is who Miocic would fight upon returning. The winner of this weekend’s Fabricio Werdum vs. Marcin Tybura fight, the winner of UFC 218’s Alistair Overeem vs. Francis Ngannou and/or Alxander Volkov are all in play at this time, sources say.

For now, though, the good news is the UFC’s heavyweight king appears on the verge of fighting again sooner rather later.

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