Former UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic is confident he can get a deal done – and get his title back shortly thereafter.
A fight isn’t on the books yet, but Miocic (20-4 MMA, 14-4 UFC) expects to figure out his fighting future in the coming weeks – after his wife gives birth to their second child, which the couple is expecting very soon.
As for his fighting future, Miocic revealed Wednesday to MMA Junkie he already has a meeting on the books with UFC president Dana White.
“We’re going to have a sit down here in September with Dana,” Miocic said. “We’ll figure it out from there. … We’ll hopefully figure that out in the next month. We’ll get there. Dana has been texting me and everything is in negotiations.”
Miocic, 39, has not competed since he lost the UFC heavyweight championship to Francis Ngannou at UFC 260 in March. He was knocked out with a left hook in Round 2. With the win, Ngannou avenged a January 2018 unanimous decision loss to Miocic at UFC 220.
“I haven’t watched it yet,” Miocic said. “I will eventually. I haven’t yet. A lot of things could be better. Unfortunately, it was his night. He caught me with a good punch. What are you going to do? It’s the fight game.”
Iron men: The 12 longest-tenured UFC fighters on the current roster
In Miocic’s absence, the UFC heavyweight division has experienced a logjam at the top. After Ngannou laid out a return timeline that was not to the UFC’s liking, the promotion implemented an interim title in August, which was captured by Ciryl Gane when he finished Derrick Lewis with strikes in the UFC 265 main event.
Miocic revealed he did not watch the fight but instead “fell asleep.” He would’ve liked to participate for an interim title, though perhaps wouldn’t have accepted that specific opportunity
“An interim belt could’ve been next if I wanted it,” Miocic said. “I probably wouldn’t have taken it, but I would’ve loved to do that. I wanted the opportunity. But yeah, I definitely want a shot at my title to get my belt back.”
So is it “title shot or bust” for the former champion? Miocic wouldn’t go that far but did not mince words when he said that is his ultimate goal – to once again bear UFC gold.
“That’s what I would love,” Miocic said. “I don’t know if I would (say title fight or bust). I’m definitely aiming for that. I’m not crying about it or anything, but I just feel like I deserve it.”
Even with no finalized fight scheduled, Miocic expects the next few months to be busy. Outside of the anticipated birth of his second child, Miocic’s busy schedule continues this weekend with his participation in the Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley pay-per-view lead-up as the muscle to square off the fighters during their faceoff.
One fight, outside of one for a championship, that Miocic would entertain is a matchup against former UFC light heavyweight champion and all-time great Jon Jones, who is slowly building up to a targeted 2022 divisional debut.
“I’ll fight anyone,” Miocic said. “I’ve said that from Day One. I’ll fight anyone. … I’ll fight anyone they put in front of me, but that’s what you aim for, one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters of all time. He’d be a great athlete to have on my resume.”
Twitter Mailbag: Stipe Miocic vs. UFC Fight Night 190 main event winner next?
Stipe Miocic down to fight Jon Jones but priority is Francis Ngannou rubber match
Miocic also announced his involvement with a UFC and Modelo partnership initiative with non-profit Rebuilding Together. Miocic will play a key role in helping revitalize a gym in his hometown of Euclid, Ohio.
With the most title defenses in the promotion’s heavyweight history, Miocic is regarded by many as the division’s all-time best. Despite his overarching dominance, Miocic has intermittently lost throughout his UFC career though he always marches forward thereafter. In July 2017, Miocic was finished by Daniel Cormier at UFC 226. He then went on to defeat Cormier in back-to-back fights that followed.
Photos: Best of Stipe Miocic
view 29 images