With UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou currently sidelined with a knee injury, Daniel Cormier thinks it would be a good idea for the UFC to book an interim title bout between Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic.
“I think we’ll see another interim title. For me, what makes sense for that interim title is Stipe Miocic and Jon Jones,” Cormier said on a recent episode of RC & DC (h/t BJPenn.com). “I think you put those two together and then no matter who wins, when Francis comes back, you have a massive fight waiting for you.”
Cormier believes it makes sense for the UFC to put a belt on the line for Jones-Miocic because it would seem odd to see ‘Bones’ fighting in a non-title fight after all these years.
The last time Jones fought in a non-title fight was almost eleven years ago when he submitted Ryan Bader at UFC 126. He would go on to capture the light heavyweight title with a devastating TKO victory over Shogun Rua and rule the light heavyweight throne for many years to come.
“If Jon Jones fights at heavyweight, you want a belt on the line,” Cormier said of his former rival. “You don’t want him just fighting. I used to think that, oh, put him against Curtis Blaydes or somebody else. No, you put him in a fight where if he wins, the end visual is the belt getting strapped on him, even if it’s an interim title because then it just elevates the next fight. So I think Stipe-Jones is the fight to make, and I can see a world where Ciryl Gane fights against Curtis Blaydes. The heavyweight division is interesting right now, and the champion being away doesn’t really hurt it all that much.”
Ngannou, who is currently embroiled in a public contract dispute with the UFC, is expected to undergo knee surgery later this year and return to the Octagon once fully recovered. ‘The Predator’ last fought at UFC 270 where he defeated Ciryl Gane to retain his heavyweight title. He won the fight via unanimous decision.