Dana White recently announced the unavailability of Jon Jones for UFC 295 against Stipe Miocic. The heavyweight champion suffered a pectoral injury that would require surgery and a rest period of 8 months. Jones injured his tendon during wrestling practice.
That meant that the original co-main event of UFC 295, Jiri Prochazka vs Alex Pereira was elevated to the status of main event. Moreover, an interim heavyweight championship between Tom Aspinall and Sergei Pavlovich was announced as the new co-main event.
Reason for Miocic being axed from UFC 295 card
Originally, for UFC 295, Stipe Miocic was set to challenge for the heavyweight title, with Sergei Pavlovich designated as the official backup fighter. However, due to Jones’ injury, Miocic was removed from the card altogether. Dana White discussed this during the post-fight press conference of the recently concluded PowerSlap event.
White was of the opinion that it would be disrespectful to ask Miocic to fight for an interim title. Miocic, the arguable GOAT of the UFC heavyweight division, is a two-time heavyweight champion for the promotion. Moreover, White also gave word to Jones that he would fight Miocic when he returned from injury.
Furthermore, in a recent interview with Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour, Tom Aspinall shared his perspective on the situation. Aspinall mentioned that the UFC was considering a double retirement scenario following UFC 295, and the promotion was aiming to schedule Aspinall and Pavlovich for a vacant title fight in early 2024.
Miocic’s last bout was at UFC 260, where he lost the title to “The Predator,” Francis Ngannou, in March 2021. He was originally scheduled to make his long-awaited return at Madison Square Garden for UFC 295, but Jones’ injury meant that the veteran fighter would only return after being out of action for more than 3 years. Interestingly, Jones won the heavyweight title at UFC 285 against Ciryl Gane after a 3-year layoff.
Possible timeline for Miocic’s in-ring action
Stipe Miocic was 38 years old when he fought Francis Ngannou at UFC 260. It is very well known that heavyweight fighters can fight into their late 30s and early 40s. However, fighting a younger fighter will always be physically challenging for an older fighter.
Jones after surgery would require 8 months of rehabilitation. This would mean that Jones would be available only in the latter half of 2024. That would mean that Miocic would be 42 years old when he would fight Jones for the heavyweight title to become the only 3-time heavyweight champion for the promotion.
Interestingly, like Jones, Miocic had a rivalry with Daniel Cormier. Cormier would defeat Miocic in their first meeting to become a two-division champion. However, Miocic would return the favor in the rematch and trilogy.
Many elite heavyweights have fought in their 40s. Randy Couture is one of them. Interestingly, Cormier fought Miocic twice in his 40s. Nevertheless, Miocic would have a massive task against Jones when they lock horns inside the octagon.
Do you think Stipe Miocic would defeat Jon Jones to become the only three-time heavyweight champion in UFC history? Comment below!