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Stipe Miocic looking at December UFC return, ‘had no idea’ about Jon Jones bout

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The UFC heavyweight champion is hoping for a late 2017, early 2018 return as contract negotiations continue.

As far back as September of 2016, Stipe Miocic has been less than pleased with his UFC contract situation. In fact, his ire with the promotion can be traced directly to his fight with Alistair Overeem, at UFC 203 in Cleveland, OH. A home state event for the then newly-minted heavyweight champion, Miocic defeated the former Dream and Strikeforce champ via first round KO to retain his belt.

And pocketed $200,000 less than the contender for his trouble.

“You’re making money off me in my hometown, and you’re giving the man that’s a challenger who’s never won the title in the UFC, you’re giving him more money?” Miocic told MMA Fighting back in January. “It definitely should change. But the fact that my challenger made more money than me in my last fight was just kind of a slap in the face.”

And while Miocic did fight again under that contract deal – knocking out Junior dos Santos at UFC 211 in May of this year – he hasn’t been seen in the Octagon since. However, that may change in the coming months, as he told Ariel Helwani in a recent interview on the MMA Hour (transcript via MMA Fighting).

“We’re talking,” Miocic replied when asked about his current status with the UFC. “I’m probably looking at December or the end of January.

“Definitely, it’s all good,” he continued. “I’ve got a great management team and they’re doing everything they’re supposed to. We’re talking, it’s all good.”

He gave his thoughts on the potential different opponents in the division as well; although Miocic doesn’t have a specific fight already lined up, he did express his interest in facing Cain Velasquez at some point. “We’re both wrestlers,” Stipe explained, “we both push the pace, we’ve got great cardio and we like to stand and bang – it would have been an exciting fight.”

Miocic also responded to Dana White’s recent reveal, that the promotion had been hoping to book a bout between the heavyweight champion and Jon Jones, before news of Jones’ latest drug test failure came down the pipeline.

“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.”