Jon Jones has put his hat in the ring for a showdown with Stipe Miocic following the Ohio firefighter’s win at UFC 252, but Dana White insists it will be Francis Ngannou who is next up for the heavyweight champion.
Miocic earned a hard-fought victory over rival Daniel Cormier in their third and final bout to secure his place as the greatest UFC heavyweight of all time, with the judges scoring the contest 49-46, 49-46, 48-47.
The 37-year-old is the man to beat at heavyweight, and light heavyweight champion Jones feels he has the tools to defeat Miocic, should he move up weight classes from the 205lbs division.
‘Avoid Stipe’s right hand, I’m too fast, I’ll be too strong when the time is right and have way too much energy. Soon and very soon I’ll be considered the baddest man on this planet,’ he wrote on Twitter.
‘Heavyweight world championships I will be seeing you real soon. Victorious.’
Earlier this year, Jones announced his retirement from the sport after a public dispute with the UFC over his fight earnings. A match up with Miocic would certainly bring the huge pay day that the 33-year-old is seeking.
However, UFC president White has poured cold water on the prospect of Jones fighting Miocic next. The supremo insisted that Ngannou is next in line for a shot at the title.
The Cameroonian heavyweight destroyer has tried and failed to beat Miocic, losing in a January 2018 title fight. However, the knockout king is in great form, having won his last four fights by stoppage.
‘Francis is definitely next,’ White said following UFC 252. ‘I mean, you can’t jump over Francis.
‘Francis has been out there destroying everybody, and if you look at how long ago it was that he got that title shot (against Miocic), he’s worked his way back.
‘It belongs to Francis Ngannou. But yeah, Jon Jones going to heavyweight is very interesting.’
Jones has teased a heavyweight bout with Ngannou, a tantalising prospect should that fight come to fruition. ‘Come on Jonny, I’m still here,’ the Cameroonian responded to Jones’ tweet.