Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic at UFC 290 may not be a lock, according to Jones.
The newly crowed UFC heavyweight champion on Thursday called out Miocic, accusing him of avoiding a fight in 2022 and citing “rumors” that the ex-champ may not be available for the International Fight Week pay-per-view.
“Yo @stipemiocic only you the UFC and I know the truth, you dodged me all of 2022 - July, September & December,” Jones wrote on Twitter. “Now I’m hearing rumors that we may not be fighting this July.”
Yo @stipemiocic only you the UFC and I know the truth, you dodged me all of 2022 - July, September & December.— BONY (@JonnyBones) March 16, 2023
Now I’m hearing rumors that we may not be fighting this July.
Bro it’s simple, either you believe in yourself or you don’t. Either you want this challenge or you don’t. Stop wasting everyone’s time.— BONY (@JonnyBones) March 16, 2023
“Bro it’s simple, either you believe in yourself or you don’t,” he wrote. “Either you want this challenge or you don’t. Stop wasting everyone’s time.”
A person close to Miocic, who asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the issue, told MMA Fighting the former heavyweight champ is “100 percent in” for a July 8 fight with Jones. Miocic repeatedly cited the summer date as his ideal timeframe to face the new champ, who quickly submitted Ciryl Gane at UFC 285 to claim the belt after a three-year layoff.
Not long after Jones’ tweet, Miocic responded on Twitter.
See you in July. pic.twitter.com/lH7ZzemPCH— Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocic) March 16, 2023
Jones targeted Miocic before and after winning the title. He jabbed the former champ in his press conference interview, saying Miocic should take time off from his day job as a firefighter to prepare for their fight. In response, Miocic brushed off the comments and said he would do his talking in the octagon.
Miocic has been on the sidelines since losing the title by knockout to now-former champ Francis Ngannou in March 2021. He holds the current record for most consecutive title defenses in the heavyweight division with three, making him an attractive target for Jones, who’s widely considered to be the best-ever light heavyweight and a pound-for-pound frontrunner.
UFC President Dana White did not immediately sign off on Jones vs. Miocic for UFC 290 but didn’t outright dismiss it.
“Here’s the thing that makes this so awesome, you have the greatest mixed martial artist of all-time facing the greatest heavyweight of all-time,” White said. “It literally doesn’t get any better than that. These are the kinds of fights you dream about making.”