The title fight for Stipe Miocic’s comeback may not go as planned.
Once Jon Jones’ match with Ciryl Gane was confirmed, the current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) champion made his goals obvious. “Bones,” 35, vowed at least two more battles for MMA fans worldwide, citing Gane and Miocic as his potential opponents. Since Gane was defeated, Miocic has been the next person to be attacked.
Unfortunately for Jones and Miocic, the UFC 290 date they had initially planned for July 8, 2023, in Las Vegas, Nevada, never materialized. According to Chael Sonnen, a former UFC championship challenger turned pundit and insider, it may not even happen next.
“I’m hearing strong rumors that Stipe and Jones is going to go up in flames and that Sergei Pavlovich vs. Jones is happening in August,” Sonnen said recently. “Strong enough that I can tell you that’s at least being pursued. I don’t know where they are in agreeing, but that’s at least being pursued. And if you did have partners in Australia, you promised them ‘Izzy’ [Israel Adesanya] and you said, ‘Look, I can’t deliver but I can bring you Jones and Pavlovich, are we good?’ They’d probably say, ‘Yeah, we’re good.’
“I have to give Jon Jones credit, I really do and that pains me,” he continued. “I got to give him credit here because people have said he was going to fight Stipe then he was going to retire. It’s like well, hold on, people. Let me remind you of one thing. When you talk about the mindset, you talk like Jon Jones doesn’t have the courage, let me just remind you he thought he was fighting Francis, he agreed to fight Stipe, and he ended up in there with Ciryl.”
On September 10, 2023, UFC will have their Sydney pay-per-view, known as UFC 293. With the announcement of the event emerged rumors that the victor of Robert Whittaker vs. Dricus Du Plessis would be facing Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya at UFC 290.
The No. 3 Heavyweight in the promotion’s rankings, Miocic (20-4) hasn’t competed since losing his title to Francis Ngannou in March 2021 through knockout in the second round. On the other hand, Pavlovich (18-1) is ranked No. 2 and has three knockout victories over that span.
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