‘Jon Wants the Biggest Challenge’ : Coach Mike Winkeljohn Says Jon Jones Is Not Interested in the Stipe Miocic Fight

Published 08/09/2021, 12:41 PM EDT
INGLEWOOD, CA – DECEMBER 29: Jon Jones celebrates his KO victory over Alexander Gustafsson of Sweden in their light heavyweight bout during the UFC 232 event inside The Forum on December 29, 2018 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Former Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones has been sitting on the sidelines ever since his move up to heavyweight back in 2020.
Having defended his belt multiple times against the top light heavyweights in the world, the Rochester native is intent on facing a new challenge in the latter half of his career.

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Just last week, UFC president Dana White shared the fact that former heavyweight champ, Stipe Miocic had signed a contract for a fight with Jon Jones. The news has been doing the rounds all of last week, with fans getting excited at the prospect of seeing Jones back in the octagon. However, it seems like this isn’t a fight Jon is interested in.

In a recent interview with Submission Radio, this is what coach Winklejohn (Jon’s head coach) had to say about a fight with Stipe Miocic, 

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” From the outside looking in, I would think that wouldn’t excite Jon. I think Jon wants one big one. He wants to get the big one. He wants the big challenge, and right now Stipe’s not there. Stipe’s awesome, don’t get me wrong, but Jon wants the biggest challenge out there that’s how Jon Jones thinks. “

‘Bones’ had expressed his interest in fighting Stipe last year. However, now that Francis Ngannou rules the heavyweight division, it seems like Jones would rather face the champion. And with Ngannou now getting ready to face Ciryl Gane in his first title defense, we are back to square one, with Jones having to wait it out for the better half of another year.

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Jon Jones vs Francis Ngannou 

A fight that MMA fans have been longing for, Jon Jones vs Francis Ngannou, has the potential to become one of the greatest heavyweight matchups in UFC history.  

Although Jones is by far the more skilled fighter, Francis Ngannou’s punching power will be an ever-present threat. Ngannou has come a long way with his takedown defense ever since he got schooled by Stipe in the first fight.   

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JUNE 28: Francis Ngannou of Cameroon poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at the Target Center on June 28, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

One can certainly see Jon keeping Ngannou at bay with his long-range weapons. However, another point to factor in will be the move up to heavyweight.   

Although Jones has been slowly transitioning to the higher weight class, getting used to all the extra weight and establishing the same amount of dexterity takes a while, if not years.  

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Regardless, this fight will be one for the ages. What do you think? Who wins this fight? Let us know in the comments. 

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David Andrew

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