At UFC 285, Jon Jones returned to the octagon in style by making his heavyweight debut and capturing the vacant belt in the first round against the No.1 ranked contender Ciryl Gane. It was a stunning performance that left fans excited about the prospect of what was to come from the newly crowned champion.
In the aftermath of the fight, Jones made a bold call-out to Stipe Miocic, the consensus greatest heavyweight of all time. However, ‘Bones’ also recently cast doubt over the former two-time champion’s willingness to fight him, sparking a discussion about whether Miocic was avoiding a fight with the rising star.
UFC President Dana White quickly responded to defend Miocic, stating that the former champion had never tried to avoid a fight. White explained that fighters like Jones, McGregor, and Miocic had achieved so much in their careers that they had other things going on outside of the octagon. Miocic had a job in Ohio and a family to take care of, and he had made a lot of money in his career.
“No, no, no. Listen, Stipe has never tried to get out of anything ever. You know, this guy is looked at as the greatest or one of the greatest heavyweights of all time and yeah, no I don’t think Stipe is trying to get out of anything.
The thing you have to understand for some of these guys, when they get to the level of a Jones, a McGregor, a Stipe… Stipe’s done it all. You know, he’s made tons of money, plus he has a job in Ohio, he’s got babies. These guys have stuff going on, so it’s never a matter of, ‘Oh he’s trying to get out of something.’ Stipe’s been fighting his whole life, who is he trying to hide from? You know what I mean, doesn’t make sense. Plus this will be if not the biggest, one of the biggest fights of his life.”
White emphasized that Miocic had been fighting his whole life and had nothing to hide from. He added that a fight between Jones and Miocic would be one of the biggest fights of Miocic’s life. Overall, White dismissed any suggestion that Miocic was unwilling to fight Jones and praised Miocic’s career achievements and personal life.
Despite White’s comments, some fans and analysts continued to speculate about whether Miocic was avoiding a fight with Jones. They pointed to Miocic’s recent comments on social media, where he seemed to downplay Jones’ chances in the heavyweight division. Others pointed out that Jones had previously expressed interest in fighting Miocic but had been met with silence from the former champion.
Whatever the truth may be, it’s clear that a fight between Jones and Miocic would be one of the most highly anticipated matches in UFC history. Both fighters have achieved incredible success in their careers and are considered among the greatest fighters of all time. It would be a clash of titans, with the winner solidifying their legacy as one of the greatest fighters in UFC history.