Stipe Miocic reveals he was intending on fighting Jon Jones at UFC 285 prior to Ciryl Gane announcement: “It’s not my decision”

By Josh Evanoff - January 18, 2023

Former UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic was surprised to learn Jon Jones will be fighting Ciryl Gane.

Stipe Miocic

The former champion has been out of action since UFC 260 in March 2021. In that outing, Miocic looked to defend his heavyweight gold against Francis Ngannou. ‘The Predator’ was previously defeated in his first title bid in January 2018 at UFC 220.

For the rematch, the challenger wasn’t going to be stopped, as he won by second-round knockout. With that, Miocic had to return to the drawing board. While he called for a trilogy with Ngannou, talks quickly shifted to a possible fight between the newly crowned champion and Jon Jones.

However, instead, it will be ‘Bones’ facing Ciryl Gane at UFC 285 in March. The headliner will also feature the vacant heavyweight championship on the line, as Ngannou was stripped last week. The former champion has recently left the UFC, in order to pursue other opportunities in boxing.

That heavyweight title matchup announcement caught Stipe Miocic a bit off guard. In an appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, the former champion admitted he was hoping to land on the March card with Jones.

While he’s disappointed with ‘Bon Gamin’ getting the nod, Miocic has instead shifted his target to July, where he hopes to face the winner of UFC 285’s main event.

Stipe Miocic, Francis Ngannou

Image Credit: UFC

“They went with Ciryl,” Miocic said on The MMA Hour. I’m not a matchmaker, I can’t tell you [why]. I don’t know. [The UFC] just went a different direction, so they said maybe July.” (h/t MMAFighting)

“Yeah, I definitely was [disappointed],” Miocic continued. “[Jones] is great fight, it’s a great matchup for me, but at the end of the day, it’s not my decision unfortunately. But we’ll see what happens. I think those two guys are going to go out and have a fight, they’re both gamers, and I’d love to get a crack at one of those guys, whoever wins it.”

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Ciryl Gane Jon Jones Stipe Miocic UFC UFC 285