Stipe Miocic has revealed that he plans to return to the octagon a lot sooner than many had expected and gave us an insight into how he feels about each of the contenders who occupy the heavyweight ranks.
With Demetrious Johnson’s record-breaking eleventh title-defence just around the corner next month and the memories of Conor McGregor’s dual-weight world champion status still fresh in our minds, it may come as a surprise to most that the UFC’s heavyweight champion Miocic is looking to soon make his very own slice of history as he attempts to become the first champion in the division’s history to defend the title on three different occasions.
First round wins over both Alistair Overeem and Junior dos Santos ensured his current position stands at just one win away from him being the most decorated 265lber in the promotion’s history, but ever since his emphatic UFC 211 knockout of JDS questions have loomed large over the future plans of the Cleveland man, with many wondering at exactly who would be next in line as Stipe looked to solidify his legacy.
When Jon Jones’ heavyweight interests were firmly focused on Brock Lesnar, just prior to his recent troubles with USADA, it was hoped that the former champ Cain Velasquez would make his triumphant return to the octagon to win back his old title but injuries once again proved to be the thorn in the side – or in this case back – of the legendary Mexican-American but it has now been almost 15 months since we have seen him in action, the last time, of course, being his trouncing of the once-dangerous Travis Browne at UFC 200.
Miocic spoke on the latest edition of the MMA Hour about his plans for a return and how he feels about some of the contenders who are waiting eagerly to a shot at becoming the baddest man on the planet.
“There are a lot of guys that are there already. In the heavyweight division anything can happen on any night, you know? That’s what’s scary about the division: no matter how good you are there is always somebody that can beat you.
“We haven’t talked about who the opponent is yet, but they’re thinking December or January so we’ll see.
“It would have been great to fight him because it would have been an amazing fight between us too. We’re both wrestlers, we both push the pace, we’ve got great cardio and we like to stand and bang – it would have been an exciting fight. Unfortunately, he’s hurt right now. I hope he gets better because he’s a super nice guy.”
The name of the infamous Jon Jones was also one that was thrown around a lot in recent years for a shot at the heavyweight title but, as we all know, his own personal issues have caused his legendary career to be put on hold. Miocic, funnily enough, revealed he actually had no idea the UFC were planning on matching him up for super-fight with ‘Bones’ just before his rather public downfall.
“I had no idea they were talking about it. Listen I’m usually last to know, which is fine. If they would’ve had me fight Jon Jones, I would have fought him. I don’t care but they never brought it to my attention. I had no idea I’m not joking.”
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena