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Morning Report: Stipe Miocic says Francis Ngannou rematch “isn’t exciting,” wants “a new challenge”

Stipe Miocic (Wagner Carmo, Inovafoto/UFC)

Two weeks ago Stipe Miocic successfully defended his heavyweight title, winning a unanimous decision over Daniel Cormier in their trilogy fight at UFC 252. The win cemented Miocic’s status as the greatest heavyweight in UFC history but the champ isn’t done yet.

Immediately following UFC 252, Dana White announced that Miocic’s next title defense would be another rematch, this time against top contender Francis Ngannou, and the heavyweight champion admits that Ngannou deserves the shot.

“Ngannou has definitely shown a lot better stuff since the first fight,” Miocic told ESPN earlier this week. “He’s knocking everyone out in the first round. He’s just on a tear.”

Miocic and Ngannou fought at UFC 220, with Miocic claiming a dominant five-round decision victory. Afterwards, Ngannou lost his next fight and then rattled off four first-round knockouts over top contenders, all in a collective 2 minutes and 42 seconds. But while Ngannou is more than deserving of another title shot, Miocic seems less than enthused about another rematch.

Yesterday, Miocic did a brief AMA with fans on Instagram, and when asked which fight would be more difficult for him, Ngannou or former light heavyweight Jon Jones, the champ admitted he was not that interested in the rematch.

“Francis isn’t exciting to me, already put on a 25 minute clinic on how to beat him. Want a new challenge! Would love to box.”

Unfortunately for Miocic, new challenges seem to be in short supply for him at the moment. Ngannou’s dominant run demands he be the next heavyweight challenger and even Jon Jones vacating his light heavyweight belt and moving up a weight class has not been enough to sway Dana White from insisting that Jones can challenge for the belt only after Ngannou does. As for boxing, Miocic has occasionally lobbied for crossover fights with some notable heavyweight boxers but it has never gotten much traction, meaning Miocic will, in all likelihood, be facing Ngannou next. And should that come to pass, Stipe believes it will go exactly the same as last time.

“He’s definitely worked his way back up, but if we do fight again, it doesn’t matter,” Miocic told ESPN. “The same thing is gonna happen. Same result. There’s no difference that’s gonna happen. I’m gonna win and dominate.”


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