Stipe Miocic Challenges Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane Winner for UFC Heavyweight Title

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Stipe Miocic is eyeing a chance to win his belt back. The former heavyweight champion issued a public challenge to the winner of Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane, who are set to compete for the title at UFC 285 on March 4.

Miocic wants a summer showdown with whoever emerges victorious between the two.

“March 4th – I like it. I got winner in July,” Miocic tweeted Sunday afternoon.

Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane for the heavyweight title was announced Saturday night by the UFC.

Francis Ngannou, who KO’d Miocic in a revenge rematch in March 2021 and defended it against Gane via unanimous decision at UFC 270 in January 2022, was stripped of the title and released by the UFC after he and the promotion did not come to terms, UFC President Dana White announced.

White claimed the UFC offered Ngannou a deal that would have made him the “highest-paid heavyweight in the history of the company.” After Ngannou turned the offer down, the highest-paid heavyweight in UFC history continues to be Brock Lesnar, who retired in 2017 after a rise to MMA prominence in the late 2000s.

Ngannou compiled a 12-2 UFC record after debuting with the promotion in December 2015. Ngannou lost a unanimous decision to Miocic at UFC 220 in January 2018 in his first title shot before avenging it a few years later and defending the title once.

Jones returns after a 25-month hiatus, while Gane returns after a knockout win over Tai Tuivasa.

Jones was a long-time light heavyweight champion whose lone career loss was a disqualification against Matt Hamill. Jones has 14 UFC title victories dating back to his win over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 128 in March 2011. Jones last fought at UFC 247 in February 2020, winning a controversial unanimous decision over Dominick Reyes.

Gane is 11-1, with his lone loss being the title challenge against Ngannou.

Miocic is the two-time UFC heavyweight champion who many consider to be the greatest heavyweight of all time.

He first captured UFC gold when he KO’d Fabricio Werdum at UFC 198 in May 2016. He defended it with finishes over Alistair Overeem, Junior dos Santos, and a dominant decision over Ngannou. He was KO’d by Daniel Cormier at UFC 226 before defeating “DC” twice – once by TKO and once by unanimous decision. Miocic has not fought since his KO loss to Ngannou.

Should Miocic’s wish come true and he draws the winner of Jones vs. Gane, it would likely lead to a fight between Curtis Blaydes and Sergei Pavlovich – a fight that could happen regardless as a title eliminator.

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Michael is a big MMA fan who enjoys interviewing the sport's athletes, writing about the sport, and just discussing it. He earned his Master's in Journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and his B.A. in Journalism at Stony Brook University. He also enjoys hockey, football and baseball. Feel free to hit him up if you want to discuss MMA, or any other sport!

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