Jon Jones confirms Stipe Miocic fight could be his last unless Francis Ngannou returns to UFC
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Jon Jones has reiterated that his blockbuster fight against Stipe Miocic could well indeed be his last unless one certain heavyweight returns to the UFC.
The recently returned MMA star looks set to make his first title defence against one of the greatest heavyweights of all time in Miocic.
The fight hasn’t yet been confirmed but it’s looking likely to go down at Madison Square Garden in November - a huge stage.
Bones sent fans into a frenzy last month when he sent out a tweet claiming it would be a great way to retire and now he’s further reiterated that stance.
How cool would it be to spend my retirement fight dominating the greatest heavyweight of all time, in my home state at Madison Square Garden?— BONY (@JonnyBones) April 16, 2023
He told Fox Sports Australia: “Right now, my goal is to have one more big fight against Stipe Miocic, Madison Square Garden and then kinda hang it up from there.”
It would signal the end of perhaps the greatest UFC career of all time, but an end that’s coming just a little too soon for MMA fans liking.
The former light heavyweight champion only just returned to the UFC after a three-year hiatus and fans would be keen to see him go on a proper heavyweight tear.
He needed just one round to dominate Ciryl Gane and claim the vacant heavyweight championship.
It’s an achievement that for Jones put the cherry on the top of an already stellar career.
Jones continued: “I think the Stipe fight will be plenty for me.
“I feel like I don’t really have much to prove after beating Stipe Miocic. I’ve been in the game a long time and in fighter years, I’m an old guy.
“I’ve been training for a long time, I’ve been in the game for a long time and got some small injuries – I just really want to be around.
“Be around for my family, be around for my kids. I want to be able to play with my kids, and have a good head on my shoulders, and have joints that work.
“So I can see it coming to an end really soon, and I’m happy with that. I’m really proud of my career.”
However, there is one fight that could certainly tempt the 245-pounder to reconsider calling it a day on a career, and it’s a fight that fans have been clamouring for for years.
Jones said: “I do believe a Francis Ngannou fight would be worth entertaining not retiring.
“I think a Francis fight would come with some serious revenue and that would make it worth my while.
“Francis is a former champion, he’s pretty damn popular here in America and across the world. It would bring in a lot of money and for that, I would be willing to come back.”
There has been talk of a potential fight with Sergei Pavlovich who is on a tear with six first-round knockout victories in a row.
However, for Jones, there’s little incentive to take the fight as ‘no one knows who he is’.
But as for Francis, he says: “I think a Francis (fight) would get me really excited to maybe keep going.”