Miocic Disappointed By Not Avenging The Ngannou Loss, Volkanovski’s Return

November 15, 2023
3 months

In the MMA latest updates, Stipe Miocic has been left disappointed at not being able to avenge his loss to Francis Ngannou with a trilogy fight. 

The pair’s record stands at 1-1. Miocic won the first fight at UFC 220, while Ngannou got his revenge at UFC 260 as he stopped Miocic with a second-round knockout.

Thereafter, Ngannou left the UFC as contract talks broke down as the former heavyweight champion signed a lucrative deal with the PFL. And since Dana White has ruled out a return for Ngannou, Miocic has been left to rue the opportunity that has gone. 

Miocic On Ngannou

“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. It definitely sucks (to miss out on fighting Ngannou again). I definitely wanted that trilogy. But unfortunately, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Listen, he’s onto bigger and better things… I wish him all the best. I hope he shocks the world,” Miocic stated 

Nevertheless, Miocic has an opportunity to grab the world title against Jon Jones at UFC 295 on November 11th, 2023. Bones is considered the favorite following his first-round-submission victory over Ciryl Gane.

After all, the victory was after Jones had been out of the ring for three years. Meanwhile, Miocic has not fought in around two years since his loss to Ngannou.

That cage rust may come back to haunt him, but like Ngannou versus Tyson Fury, Miocic has a chance to shock the world. 

And with that, Aljamain Sterling has given Miocic a chance of pulling off the victory. The latter is known for being one of the best strikers in the division. In contrast, Jones’ grappling skills are also one of the best in the division. But when it comes to the actual striking, Sterling has warned Jones that he could come unstuck against Miocic.

Sterling On Miocic

“Yeah, when it hit the ground it’s just autopilot… but the issue for me going into this one is the striking.If he comes out swinging and whiffing the way he did against Ciryl Gane — it looked bad… What’d he say? (He felt) goofy or clunky,” Sterling continued. “We all know Stipe can box his ass off. And it’s a fight, so I think Stipe, being that he has some wrestling background, I think he does a better job than Ciryl Gane. But he has to keep it standing,” Sterling stated 

A loss for Jones would be disastrous since he has hinted that the Miocic fight would be the ideal fight to then subsequently retire. A win may lead to that, but a loss would would hand Jones the first loss of his career.

And there is no getting away from that. And yet, the former UFC fighter Josh Thomson cannot see Jones retiring anytime soon. 

“He was talking about he may even retire after he beats Stipe. I can’t imagine him retiring. You go to the heavyweight division because it can prolong your career because you’re better than all of them,” Thomson 

Volkanovski’s Return

Meanwhile, Alexander Volkanovski, the UFC featherweight champion, is targeting a return to the cage in 2024.

After successfully defending his title against Yair Rodriguez at UFC 290 in July, where he stopped his opponent in the third round, the win was seen as a massive boost following his loss to Islam Makhachev.

However, in the aftermath, the win was overshadowed by an injury to his left arm. Thereafter, Volkanovski underwent surgery with an expectation that he will return to training in six weeks. And provided that everything goes to plan, Volkanovski is aiming for a fight in January 2024. 

Volkanovski’s Opponent

This naturally begs the question: who would Volkanovski face? As of now, a rematch with Makhachev is possible given that the latter’s win was seen as controversial.

Meanwhile, Aljamain Sterling had expressed an interest in fighting Volkanovski. However, those plans of moving up were disrupted after his loss to Sean O’Malley.

At the same time, a bout with Ilia Topuria had been linked. Either way, Volkanovski is looking to make a big statement on his return.

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