Here is the Thursday edition of MMA Rumors. After the fallout from the Jon Jones injury and the shuffle that UFC 295 has seen, there are a few things to be discussed. On top of that chaos, UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski isn’t shying away from a January bout. Oh, one of Bellator’s biggest free agents may be making the same jump Michael Chandler made prior.
This edition of MMA rumors will go over the Volkanovski calling for a January bout, Stipe Miocic and what is next for him, and Michael “Venom” Page getting Dana White’s attention.
All MMA rumors come from the original source and are subject to change.
Stipe Miocic Odd Man Out…For Now?
Rumor: Late Tuesday night, early Wednesday morning, UFC CEO Dana White dropped a big news hammer on the combat sports world. In a post to social media, White explained that Jon Jones had suffered a torn pectoral muscle, with video evidence, and that his bout with former heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic was off. ESPN’s Marc Raimondi reported that the UFC isn’t rebooking Stipe Miocic but rather seemingly pulling him from the card in hopes of rebooking the high-profile bout in 2024.
The UFC's hope is to still book Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic on a big card in 2024 once Jones returns from injury, sources told ESPN.
— Marc Raimondi (@marcraimondi) October 25, 2023
Analysis: The UFC obviously knows the cash cow that is now missing from their inventory with this bout being canceled. They may want to rebook the bout but there needs to be a very hard reality that the promotion and fans may face. Jon Jones will be out a minimum of eight months and will be coming off a major surgery at age 36 next year. Miocic will be 42 in August of 2024 with the bout potentially coming around that time. It needs to be thought that not only will this bout never be rebooked but we also may never see either man fight again, it’s a harsh reality but a reality nevertheless.
Alexander Volkanovski Targeting Ilia Topuria in January
Rumor: UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski is “adamant” he is facing number one contender Ilia Topuria in January.
Analysis: Volkanovski was very open about his mental health after his knockout loss to Islam Makhachev. He said he needed to stay active because if he wasn’t busy fighting he “got in his own head.” That is a feeling that most people regardless of their work can understand, that being said, he needs a break. Coming off the first knockout loss of his career and then turning around and fighting in less than three months is not good for his long-term health. No need for an interim title bout to be arranged but let the champion rest.
Dana White Enamored with Michael “Venom” Page
Rumor: Combat sports free agent Michael “Venom” Page has the interest of the UFC and Karate Combat.
Is free agent Michael "Venom" Page on his way to the UFC? 🐍
"He's a kid that we're definitely interested in," says UFC CEO Dana White. pic.twitter.com/I0C63S4qxe
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) October 22, 2023
Analysis: The UFC is looking for some new faces in the welterweight division as they have a facelift of the division with longtime champion Kamaru Usman seemingly moving up to middleweight. Page wouldn’t be a young talent to add to the division at 36 years old but he is the top free agent at the moment. He has done some work with BKFC and has the interest of Karate Combat as well. Perhaps going to the UFC is the flashy move but staying independent and going between Karate Combat and BKFC is the green option.