A lot can change in four years’ time. Four years ago, Jon Jones‘s coach Mike Winkeljohn was arguing why Stipe Miocic was the hardest fight for Jon Jones to be made in the heavyweight division after Miocic had proven to be “the best in the world.” Four years later, he now believes that the two-time heavyweight champion is not a big enough challenge for Jones.
Instead of Francis Ngannou, in 2017, the superfight being discussed for Jon Jones was Brock Lesnar. Both Jones and his team favored the fight against Lesnar, in part because of the large payday, and also because of the overall risk/reward ratio in comparison to then-champion Stipe Miocic.
Check out what Coach Wink had to say about Miocic exactly four years ago today, courtesy of MMANews.com, a leading source in MMA News since 2002.
[ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AUGUST 14, 2017, 1:49 PM]
Jon Jones should not be deterred in his efforts to fight former UFC heavyweight champion, Brock Lesnar, although incumbent champion Miocic is a harder fight
That is according to Jones‘ JacksonWink MMA trainer Mike Winkeljohn.
The UFC light heavyweight champion announced his intentions to take on Lesnar, arguing that it is a big fight and more importantly, a potential money spinner. Jones had rationalized his overlooking of current heavyweight king pin Stipe Miocic as simply down to fan interest, but gave props to the latter in the process:
“Right now, Stipe is looking extremely impressive and I believe when you get an extremely talented big guy versus an extremely talented little guy, the cards are working in his favor. At the same time, I fear no man. But, I strike for a reason when I strike and I feel like right now Stipe is relatively unknown to the general public. So it wouldn’t be a real super-fight in my opinion. I feel like the MMA fans would be really excited about it. But the general public wouldn’t care about that fight.
Most people really don’t know who he [Miocic] is, with all due respect to him. So if I am going to sacrifice being the smaller guy, I think that stylistically Brock Lesnar would be a fight that makes way more sense. And the payday would be tremendous! Plus what it would do for our sport would be tremendous. It would have a much greater effect [than a bout with Miocic]. So for those reasons, a Brock Lesnar fight just makes way more sense for me.”
One man who has echoed Jones’ sentiments is the 30-year-old’s trainer, Winkeljohn, in a recent interview with Submission Radio (transcription via Jesse Holland of MMAMania.com).:
“Jon is a light heavyweight, so you can’t ask somebody just to step up and fight the best in the world at heavyweight and forgo the money fight against someone who they think they can beat,” Winkeljohn stated. “Jon said it himself, he thinks a good big man always beats a good smaller man. Jon Jones said that himself in a press conference. Do I think Jon thinks he can beat Stipe? Yeah. Do I think he might have said it? Yes. But I like the Brock Lesnar fight for right now. And we need to work on some skills and get some weight on Jon before he fights with Stipe, because I think that Stipe is a harder fight.”