Ariel Helwani says UFC dropped the ball on Jon Jones vs Stipe Miocic

Jon Jones announced his move to heavyweight a long time ago. But time to announce an event came and went and it’s now all but certain we won’t be seeing Jones in the cage in 2022.

We last saw Jon Jones in the Octagon over three years ago. After another successful defense against Dominick Reyes at UFC 247, the former light heavyweight champion decided to give up the belt.

There were rumblings UFC was planning to have Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic on UFC 282 but that ship’s sailed since.

On a recent broadcast of “The MMA Hour“, renowned MMA journalist Ariel Helwani discussed the breakdown in talks for the heavyweight showdown.

Helwani said,

“I think once they didn’t really come correct with an offer – and that’s really what happened here. It was like a ‘Hey, you wanna fight him, here’s the amount, take it or leave it.’ And [Stipe Miocic] was like ‘Uuuuh,’ and then they just moved on.”

“So now I think they’re gonna try to make the fight against Ngannou in March, and if they do that, who is Stipe going to fight? Is he going to be motivated to fight for way less money to fight a Ciryl Gane or Curtis Blaydes? I can’t see it happening.”

“So wouldn’t shock me if we never see him again. Could he come back? Sure. Next week, great! But wouldn’t shock me if we never see him again.”

Helwani thinks Stipe Miocic may never enter the Octagon again since the organisation is currently planning a heavyweight championship bout between Jon Jones and UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in early 2023.

Helwani said,

“I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if this marks the end of Stipe’s career. Stipe is going to go off into the night very quietly. Stipe was never going to make a big hullabaloo.”

“Maybe it’s a [social media] post or something like that. He’s a pretty quiet guy, private guy, likes his life as a firefighter. He was not going to make a big deal of the end of his fighting career.”

None of this comes as a surprise considering UFC has tried to shaft both Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou in negotiations for their clash all the way back in 2019. Looks like Miocic is not willing to play a fool and would rather he be compensated for the effort.

Ngannou is still in the middle of contentious negotiations with the UFC regardless of what their ‘target’ is. As of December of this year, Ngannou will be a free agent and if the UFC were to strip him of the title he would immediately be released from under his contract.