According to Jon Jones‘s coach Mike Winkeljohn, Jones currently has no interest in a heavyweight debut against two-time heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.
Last week, Dana White revealed that Stipe Miocic had accepted a proposed fight against Jon Jones. There are no additional details available on how formal this offer was; but according to White, Miocic was willing to table his frustrations on sitting on the sidelines of the heavyweight title picture if it meant a superfight against Jones.
A fight between Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic has been a dream fight for many years, particularly when they were ruling over their respective divisions. Both men hold the record for most title defenses in these divisions, with Jones completing 11 successful light heavyweight title defenses and Miocic setting the heavyweight record with three consecutive defenses and four total.
Now that Jones is moving up to heavyweight, what better time than now for a Jones/Miocic dream match? At least that is the feeling from both the UFC brass and Miocic. But alas, this idea gets a pass from the Jones camp at the present time according to Coach Winkeljohn (h/t MiddleEasy.)
“From the outside looking in, I would think that wouldn’t excite Jon. I think Jon wants the big one. He wants to get the big one, he wants the big challenge, and right now Stipe’s not there,” Winkeljohn said in an appearance on Submission Radio. “Stipe is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but Jon wants the biggest challenge out there. That’s how Jon Jones thinks.
“That’s just me talking. For me it doesn’t seem that exciting for Jon, it doesn’t make sense. It makes sense to go after the title. Because honestly Jon is the best pound-for-pound of all time, so why would he have just a normal fight? Unless we felt we needed that to get used to our new body. I don’t think we need that, I think Jon is already getting used to his new size, so there is not a necessity to take a step-up fight. Jon is ready to go, he wants the challenge.”
While Winkeljohn’s admission that ‘it’s just him talking’ seemingly leaves a large window of hope that Jones feels differently, “Bones” has made similar statements regarding Miocic earlier this year. Therefore, it appears Winkeljohn and Jones are in accord on this matter.
Evidently, after Ngannou knocked out Miocic to become the new heavyweight champion at UFC 260, Jones ceased to view Miocic as the “biggest challenge” possible. And with the undefeated Ciryl Gane now emerging as a threat to the undisputed title, it’s possible that he, not Ngannou, might prove to be that challenge Winkeljohn speaks of by the time Jones makes his debut.
Jones has stated that he is targeting an Octagon return next year, so the world will have to wait to see if he is able to come to terms with the UFC and what supersized challenge will await the former light heavyweight king if they do.