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UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic Shockingly Calls Out Anthony Joshua And Tyson Fury

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UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic Shockingly Calls Out Anthony Joshua And Tyson Fury

UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic has said he is ready to swap the Octagon for the boxing ring to fight Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury.

The 38-year-old American, who defends his UFC title against Francis Ngannou on Saturday in Las Vegas, has expressed his willingness to switch combat codes for the right fight. AJ and Fury are expected to meet in a mega-money heavyweight unification clash this year.

Miocic - arguably the greatest UFC heavyweight champ - has some strong boxing pedigree. He boxed as an amateur and won a prestigious US Golden Gloves title in his youth.

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Asked by ESPN why he was prepared to face Joshua or Fury in a boxing ring rather than tempting them to the Octagon, Miocic explained: "It's a different combat, boxing is all about technique.

"It's more of a fair fight [than an MMA contest vs AJ or Fury]; we both fight standing but we can kick and take down, and they're not used to that."

Very noble of Miocic to give up his advantages in wrestling, kicks, take downs, etc to fight the pair of Brits who currently control boxing's flagship division.

Both Fury and Joshua have occasionally expressed an interest in mixed martial arts, with Fury engaging in some MMA training. However the 'easier' transition, as Miocic suggests, is probably going from MMA to boxing as there aren't as many new disciplines to suddenly master.

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However being able to exchange punches in the UFC compared to a boxing ring is a quite different skill set. So Miocic would be really up against it if he did go right into a boxing match, just as Conor McGregor found when he fought Floyd Mayweather in 2017.

First up, Miocic has to get past an opponent regarded as the most heavy-handed UFC heavyweight out there: 'The Predator' Ngannou.

Miocic beat Ngannou by unanimous decision in 2018, but accepts that the 34-year-old challenger has improved in the years since.

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"It won't be nothing like the first fight because he's definitely gotten better and so have I," Miocic told MMA Fighting, per the Mirror.

"A lot of things are going to change. I'm trying to make it a more one-sided fight, and of course try to end it early, but he's gotten better. The man hits hard and it's the heavyweight division so anything can happen.

"He's got a great coach and a great team... I think whoever implements their game plan the best is going to win.

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"He's definitely gotten better but he's also got that one factor that everyone thinks he hits hard and he does hit hard. You've just got to watch out for it."

All imagery: PA Images

Topics: Tyson Fury, Stipe Miocic, Anthony Joshua, Boxing, UFC

Alex Reid
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