Jon Jones has regained his championship status with his round one submission victory over Ciryl Gane at UFC 285. Now looking to cement his place in heavyweight history, Jones quickly called out the promotion’s most successful heavyweight champion.
“Stipe Miocic, I hope you’ve been training my guy,” Jones said to Miocic during his post fight interview.
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The nights main event bout was explosive from the bell, with Jones receiving an illegal groin kick in the first seven seconds. But after ducking a punch and closing in for a body lock, Jones was able to force Gane to the ground and isolate him against the cage. From there, he locked in his fifth professional guillotine finish and silenced all doubts of his skill.
In the post-fight, Jones took time to credit his Christian faith and the support of his fans with his victory. “For all you prayer warriors out there, I felt you so strongly all week,” Jones exclaimed. “…I just wanna thank each and every one of you for praying for me.”
On dissecting his performance, Jones expressed no surprise in how quickly he was able to take down Gane. “I had the strong conviction that if I were able to get him [Gane] down to the ground, the fight would be in my area,” said Jones. “I’ve been wrestling since I was 12.”
With his impressive resume, a similarly legendary opponent only makes sense for Jones. With the greatest number of title defenses in division history and wins over Alistair Overeem, longtime Jones rival Daniel Cormier and stripped UFC Heavyweight champ Francis Ngannou, Miocic is a solid choice for a next bout. “You’re the greatest heavyweight of all time, and that’s what I want,” Jones explained. “And I want you, real bad.”
Sitting in the audience during the interview, Miocic calmly watched the new champion with very little outward emotion. Not having fought since losing the title in 2021, the Ohio native sits at a 20-4 record.
Unmentioned during the interview was former champion Ngannou, the last man to beat Miocic two years ago when he first won the belt. Ngannou publicly left the UFC over contract disputes in January, leading to UFC President Dana White publicly distancing the company from their former prized competitor. Despite the silence from Jones, Ngannou took time to congratulate the new champ in a backhanded manor via Twitter.
Good job Jonny Boy— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) March 5, 2023
The heavyweight king
Kevin Bradley is a Jersey-based grappling journalist for Bloody Elbow. He began writing for the site in 2022, and has covered both BJJ and MMA news since 2018. (full bio)