‘The American Gangster’ has spoken.
Speaking in a recent YouTube vlog, former UFC title challenger turned Bellator fighter and ESPN sports analyst Chael Sonnen claims that Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic are currently in negotiations for a mega-fight at heavyweight.
Sonnen cites co-podcast host Ariel Helwani as his source, who claims ‘both parties are interested’ in a showdown at heavyweight.
Check out the transcript below, courtesy of Pundit Arena’s Cillian Cunningham.
“When Ariel says that he is ‘hearing talks’ – when Ariel says he is ‘hearing talks’, Ariel knows. Ariel is a journalist – he does not speculate, he says I’m hearing that both parties have agreed – or that both parties are interested rather.
“Now listen to this one. Listen to what Ariel said. Jon Jones, at heavyweight, versus – and I know you’re all going to think I’ll say Daniel Cormier or Brock Lesnar, I’m not, “Sonnen said.
“Jon Jones versus Stipe Miocic. Woah! That got my attention. Really?
“Stipe Miocic, who has kind of been sitting out and playing hard-ball, all of a sudden is willing to come to the table for Jon Jones? That’s compelling as hell to me.
“And it does serve the purpose of setting somebody big up for Daniel [Cormier] because whoever comes out of that fight – people are going to say ‘I want to see you take on Daniel.”
Jones, the reigning UFC light heavyweight champion, has long flirted with a move up to heavyweight and was originally teased to fight Brock Lesnar in 2017. The bout never came to fruition, though, with ‘Bones’ most recently defending his light heavyweight title against Anthony Smith in the UFC 235 main event, beating ‘Lionheart’ via dominant unanimous decision.
As for Miocic, the former record-breaking heavyweight titleholder hasn’t fought since his devastating knockout loss to Daniel Cormier at UFC 226. The part-time firefighter has been avidly campaigning for a rematch with ‘DC’, but it’s expected that Cormier’s next title defense will be against Lesnar.
If the rumors of this match-up are true, expect an official announcement in the coming days.