UFC heavyweight division is currently on hold as the reigning champion Francis Ngannou has been sidelined due to contract negotiations in addition to undergoing a knee surgery.
While Ngannou is recovering, the UFC planned for an interim title bout to keep the division going.
The negotiations are are on for an interim title bout between Stipe Miocic and Jon Jones.
While it was initially targeted to take place in July, a source told Jones that Miocic would be ready in September, delaying their planned bout.
Jones took to Twitter to share his disappointment about the news. But despite that, he also said that he’ll patiently wait for Miocic to be at his best.
“Stipe is saying that he will be at his absolute peak in September,” Jones tweeted.
“I’m disappointed but patient, I want the heavyweight GOAT at his absolute best. I’ll wait until September. No excuses.”
Jones last appeeared in the octagon at UFC 247 back in February 2020, winning an extremely close decision against Dominick Reyes.
He then announced he would be going up to heavyweight, hoping to score a megamatch with Francis Ngannou but both Jones and Ngannou had contentious negotiations with the UFC that derailed their careers.
After two years of training and bulking up, according to his manager, Richard Schaefer, Jones is now ready.
“He’s been training, he’s been extremely smart about how to bulk up and have the right weight and do it in an intelligent way… Not just eating a lot but actually gaining muscle mass,” noted Schaefer. “He has been really amazing about it; I’ve never seen anything like it… He is ready to fight, he’s ready to fight.”
Miocic last appeared at UFC 260 back in March 2021 when he lost his belt to Ngannou by a vicious knockout in the second round.
UFC is unlikely to strip Ngannou due to the fact this would sever his contract. In his absence they’re targeting Tom Aspinall with either Tuivasa or Gane before Jones and Miocic step into the cage. This will determine the future of the division considering that Ngannou becomes a free agent in December and is determined to make a mixed rules bout with Tyson Fury a reality.