UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic responded to the accusation that he was avoiding top-ranked contender Francis Ngannou on Friday. Miocic denied that was the case and said his recent Instagram Q&A session that spurred that idea was simply taken out of context.
“No, not at all,” Miocic said about avoiding Ngannou. “That’s a lie.”
Instead, Miocic said he was ready to do next what he always does: defend his UFC heavyweight title against whoever the UFC says is next in line.
“I don’t know [what will happen next] though,” Miocic said. “That’s up to the UFC. I’m not the matchmaker.”
Moreover, despite being arguably the most accomplished UFC heavyweight champion in history, Miocic said he would never seriously think he could decide on his own who his next fight should be against.
“I’m not going to pick and choose who I fight,’ Miocic said. “Whoever they want me to fight, I’m going to fight.”
So if the UFC wants Miocic to defend his belt against Ngannou next as UFC president Dana White has repeatedly suggested since Miocic defeated Daniel Cormier at UFC 252, then that’s exactly what Miocic said he expects to happen.
During his Instagram Q&A, Miocic responded to a fan’s question about either facing Ngannou or UFC superstar Jon Jones next.
Miocic responded, “Francis isn’t exciting to me, already put a 25-minute clinic on how to beat him. Want a new challenge! Would love to box.”
Miocic Wants Crossover Megafight Against Boxing Champ
But just because Miocic is ready for whatever his next UFC challenge turns out to be doesn’t mean he lacks other interests, too.
Miocic also revealed to Heavy that he would love to participate in a crossover megafight against one of boxing’s best.
“I would love to box,” Miocic said. “That would be fun. It’s something different. It’s a new challenge. That would be great. I would love it.”
Miocic said he’d want to share the ring with one of boxing’s heavyweight champions, and that he would happily limit himself to fighting either of them under boxing’s more strict ruleset.
“For sure, either Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua,” Miocic said. “Those two guys would be great to be in the ring with. That would be great.”
And why would the UFC’s heavyweight champion want to enter a boxing ring in addition to the Octagon?
“It’s the combat aspect of it,” Miocic said. “Plus, it’d just be something different. I think it would be great crossing over and I think people would really enjoy it.”
Additionally, Miocic said he would welcome either Fury or Joshua into the Octagon if that’s something either boxing champ seriously wanted to do. In the past, Fury has indicated he would be willing to make the transition over to MMA in the future.
“I think it’d be great,” Miocic said. “I mean it’s a little bit different though for him to learn all the different takedowns and stuff, but I think boxing is a little more narrow.”
Still, the UFC heavyweight champ said he’d love the opportunity to be involved in the heavyweight version of the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor superfight back in 2017.
But none of that means he’s trying to avoid Ngannou.
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