Jon Jones will make the first defence of his UFC heavyweight title against former champion Stipe Miocic. Jones picked up the belt in the early hours of Sunday morning against Ciryl Gane.
Having already cleared up at light-heavyweight, Jones made the move up in weight and submitted Gane in the first round of their UFC 285 main event to become the company’s eighth two-weight world champion. Jones follows in the footsteps of all-time greats Randy Couture, BJ Penn, Conor McGregor, Georges St Pierre, Daniel Cormier, Amanda Nunes and Henry Cejudo in securing champ-champ status.
Following the victory, UFC president Dana White confirmed that Jones will face Miocic next. “I don’t know when, but he’s definitely fighting Stipe,” he said before adding of Jones: “Can anybody deny this guy is the GOAT anymore? Not only is he is the greatest light-heavyweight ever but he also looks like the greatest heavyweight ever too. The guy is unf****ng believable, he seriously is. There is no doubt Jon Jones is special, he’s fought all the best competition out there.”
Miocic holds the record for the most consecutive heavyweight title defences with three and is a two-time 265lb champion. In his last outing, he was knocked out by Francis Ngannou when they rematched in March 2021.
Watching on from cage side, Miocic replied: “Good for him. Hey, you won. I’ll see him in July. I’m going to train my a** off and I’m going to beat his a**.”
Jones added on his performance: “I had a strong conviction that if I were to get him down to the ground, the fight would be in my area. I’ve been wrestling since I was 12 years old, and I felt stronger and more comfortable – especially on the ground – than ever.
“With kickboxing you never know what’s going to happen – he zigs, I zag – there was a major feeling out process. I actually felt a little goofy on the feet, it’s been a while, but once I got my hands on him, I knew that’s where I was most comfortable and that I could take control.”