Current UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones threw water on the idea of fighting in July. But, he hinted that the promotion’s return to New York City was potentially in the works for his title defense – and possible retirement fight – against Stipe Miocic.
Jones became the undisputed divisional king in March at UFC 285 when he took out top-ranked contender Ciryl Gane in just over two minutes with a guillotine choke. “Bones” said post-event that he wanted to fight Miocic, the former two-time heavyweight champion, and he shared interest in battling during the promotion’s International Fight Week at the start of July in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Miocic appeared on MMA Fighting’s “The MMA Hour” a few days later and confirmed that he was all in on battling Bones to win back his title. He said UFC 290 on July 8 was a suitable date for him as well.
But, fast forward over a month, and with International Fight Week approaching, fans haven’t heard anything from Bones regarding his return. UFC president Dana White recently spoke with Pat McAfee and said Jones hadn’t “heard a word out of [Jones].”
Well, Miocic shared a clip of White’s words, tweeting to Jones: “Weird… because last month you said I was the one running.”
“I lay low for a few weeks and then you convince yourself that I’m afraid of you,” Jones responded a few days later. “Ha whatever you need to tell yourself old timer.”
Jones Tweeted It Would Be ‘Cool’ to Have ‘Retirement Fight’ Against Miocic at Madison Square Garden in November
A fan then asked Jones on the platform: “So are y’all gonna fight in July jon?” “No, I think UFC has other plans for us,” Bones responded.
When another Twitter user floated the idea of the UFC’s annual November Madison Square Garden event in New York City as a date for the matchup, Bones tweeted: “Not saying (zipped-lips emoji).”
“How cool would it be to spend my retirement fight dominating the greatest heavyweight of all time, in my home state at Madison Square Garden?” Jones continued. Bones has hinted several times that he could walk away from the sport after fighting Miocic.
Someone then tweeted to Bones: “Chill I’m not ready for your retirement!” “OK my bad, I’ll keep fighting,” Jones responded.
Miocic Is Ready to Hand Jones His First Legitimate Defeat
While speaking with Ariel Helwani on “The MMA Hour” after Jones ascended to the division’s throne, Miocic shared his confidence in becoming a three-time heavyweight champion. “I’m going to win, there’s no question,” Miocic said. “There’s no question.”
“I know that [he’s never lost,]” Miocic continued. “It sucks that he’s going to lose. He’s going [to have] a big ‘one.’ I’m not going to imagine it, it’s going to happen.”
Jones has a professional MMA record of 27-1 with one no contest. His sole loss came via disqualification against Matt Hamill in 2009 after he landed consecutive illegal elbows. On the other end, Miocic sports a 20-4 spread and is 2-1 in his last three bouts, which includes his title-losing effort against Francis Ngannou in March 2021 — his most recent bout.