Stipe Miocic has declared his support to his long-standing rival Francis Ngannou in his upcoming boxing bout against Tyson Fury scheduled for next month.
Miocic and Ngannou have engaged in a series of electrifying world title bouts. In their initial clash for the belt in 2018, Miocic emerged victorious in the match that marked Ngannou’s first UFC defeat.
But three years later, Ngannou exacted his revenge. He delivered an amazing knockout blow to the two-time champion, seizing the title in an eerily silent arena amidst the pandemic.
Ngannou recently left the UFC as a champion, and the vacated belt was later taken up by Jon Jones. Miocic is currently gearing up to face Jones this November.
Miocic has been unsuccessful in putting together a trilogy bout with Ngannou, but wants to see his old opponent win.
Expressing his sentiments ahead of his UFC 295 bout against Jones, Miocic said to New York Post: “I really wanted to have a rematch with Francis. Unfortunately, he left for bigger and better things, so good for him. After that, all I wanted was Jon Jones.”
He further lamented, “It definitely sucks, I definitely wanted that trilogy, but unfortunately, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Listen, he’s onto bigger and better things.”
But Miocic wants Ngannou to do his best. He said: “On paper, Tyson Fury is one of the best boxers of all time, amazing at what he does but Francis hits really hard. It’s a fight, anything can happen. I wish him nothing but the best. I hope he shocks the world.”
As it stands, the likelihood of Ngannou granting Miocic the coveted trilogy seems remote. Following his bout against Fury, the Cameroonian powerhouse is poised to make his debut in PFL MMA.
Conversely, Miocic is content with his shot at the title for the third time. The match against UFC GOAT Jon Jones will be held at the New York City arena.
Reflecting on the significance of facing Jones for the heavyweight title, Miocic stated: “It’s a fight I’ve always wanted. It doesn’t get much bigger than Jon Jones and it’s a fight he wanted as well. So I think it doesn’t get bigger than that and especially Madison Square Garden, Veteran’s Day, it’s awesome.”
He added, “I think retirement was a consideration after every fight I’ve had since UFC 136 when I fought Joey Beltran. So, it’s always been in the back of my mind.”