Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is uninterested in fighting Stipe Miocic for his heavyweight debut, according to his coach.
Jones is set to move up to the UFC heavyweight division for his next fight, and UFC president Dana White recently confirmed the promotion had offered the fight to Miocic, who accepted it. However, White later said that Jones will not be fighting until 2022, which indicates that he is not interested in fighting Miocic at this time. With UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou set to unify his belt against interim champion Ciryl Gane first, Jones will likely be waiting for the winner, and his coach Mike Winkeljohn confirmed as much. According to his longtime coach, Miocic is not viewed as a challenge for Jones.
“From the outside looking in, I would think that wouldn’t excite Jon. I think Jon wants the big one. He wants to get the big one, he wants the big challenge, and right now Stipe’s not there. Stipe is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but Jon wants the biggest challenge out there. That’s how Jon Jones thinks,” Winkeljohn said to Submission Radio (h/t MiddleEasy).
“That’s just me talking. For me it doesn’t seem that exciting for Jon, it doesn’t make sense. It makes sense to go after the title. Because honestly Jon is the best pound-for-pound of all time, so why would he have just a normal fight? Unless we felt we needed that to get used to our new body. I don’t think we need that, I think Jon is already getting used to his new size, so there is not a necessity to take a step up fight. Jon is ready to go, he wants the challenge.”