Jon Jones sent a warning to Stipe Miocic ahead of a their potential UFC heavyweight championship matchup.
After a more than three-year layoff from competition, Jones returned to the octagon on Saturday night and submitted Ciryl Gane in just over two minutes to win the vacant title in the main event of UFC 285. Following the victory, Jones called for a fight with Miocic, which the former champion accepted. “Bones” said he plans to immediately get back to the gym this week to prepare for the matchup — and he wants Miocic to come with that same energy, otherwise it’ll be a long night for the former champ.
“I say this respectfully to Stipe — I would take time off from being a firefighter right now. And I mean that with all due respect,” Jones said during the UFC 285 post-fight press conference. “My whole world is going to be focused on him. This is the biggest opportunity in my life to beat the heavyweight GOAT and I’m going give it everything I’ve got, absolutely everything I’ve got.
“Stipe is talking about the fact that he’s heavier than me right now — his head is already in the wrong spot. If he thinks weightlifting is going to beat me, he’ll never be younger than he is right now, he’ll never be faster. And I’m going to not only beat Stipe, I’m going to finish him before the championship rounds.”
UFC president Dana White confirmed to members of the media following Friday’s UFC 285 ceremonial weigh-ins that the ideal situation is for Miocic to challenge Jones for the championship at UFC 290, which is scheduled to take place during the promotion’s International Fight Week in Las Vegas on July 8.
Heading into his long-awaited return to action — and his first as a heavyweight — the former light heavyweight champion enlisted the help of current UFC fighter Walt Harris, along with former UFC heavyweights and current PFL competitors Maurice Greene and Yorgan De Castro.
With all three of his teammates preparing for either scheduled bouts, or, in Harris’ case, a targeted timeline for a fight, Jones wants to give back to the men who helped him get ready to accomplish this incredible feat.
At the same time, Jones says he will be all-in on his preparation for Miocic, who will look to challenge the new champion in his first fight since losing the title to Francis Ngannou at UFC 260 nearly two years ago.
“We’re going right back to work,” Jones said. “I believe in my next fight, I’ll go into it with a different level of confidence — an even higher level of confidence. I believe that I’m going to look really great. I’m going have even higher endurance than I had [against Gane], which is going be hard to beat because I’m in really great condition [right now].
“Yeah, the next fight is going to be awesome.”