Stipe Miocic has warned Jon Jones that stepping up to heavyweight is full of risk and may not go as smoothly as ‘Bones’ expects.
Having beaten Daniel Cormier in their trilogy fight to underline his status as the greatest heavyweight of all time, many believe Miocic and Jones are on a collision course.
He told ESPN: ‘Listen, we’re big boys with smaller gloves on. It just takes one (punch) I don’t care if you don’t hit hard you can still get caught I don’t care who you are.
‘I look at my first fight against ‘D.C.’ I’ve been hit with everything and didn’t go down, but ‘D.C.’ caught me with a shot I didn’t see and I went down.
‘So I don’t think it will be that much easier especially when you have all that weight to worry about.
‘It’s not 205 and you got guys up to 265 if not bigger who don’t cut weight,’ he added.
Jones has signalled his intent to step up having dominated the light-heavyweight division for so long.
After watching the third fight with Cormier, Jones tweeted: ‘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.’
No doubt the 33-year-old will be trying to bulk up in the months ahead and it remains to be seen whether he has a sharpener fight against a contender or steps right in to face Miocic.
UFC president Dana White has insisted that Francis Ngannou is next in line for a shot at the champion again and Jones will wait his turn.
And Ngannou has a differing opinion to Miocic over Jones’s step up, believing he will thrive at heavyweight.
‘I think heavyweight might be even easier for Jon Jones than light-heavyweight,’ he said.
”Obviously heavyweight, they hit harder, but it’s not the same technique, it’s not the same fight IQ.’