One of Jon Jones' coaches Mike Winkeljohn doesn't think a matchup with former UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic is all that exciting for the perennial pound-for-pound great's next fight.
Winkeljohn talked about the potential Jones-Miocic bout on a recent appearance on Submission Radio, saying that Miocic wouldn't be the most enticing option for Jones' expected heavyweight debut in 2022. He believes that Jones would want the bigger challenge in either UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou or interim heavyweight champion Cyril Gane.
“It doesn’t really excite me,” Winkeljohn said (h/t Bloody Elbow). “I would assume – It has nothing to do with what excites me or not, I would think the same thing, from the outside looking in, I would think that wouldn’t excite Jon. I think Jon wants the big one, he wants to get the big one, he wants the big challenge. And right now Stipe is not there. Stipe is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but Jon wants the biggest challenge out there. That’s how Jon Jones thinks. That’s also just me talking. For me, that doesn’t seem that exciting for Jon. It doesn’t make sense. Makes sense to go after the title, cause honestly, Jon is the best pound-for-pound of all time, so why would he have just a normal fight? Unless we felt we needed that to get used to our new body. I don’t think we’re gonna need that. I think Jon is already getting used to his new size. So, there’s not a necessity to take a step-up fight. Jon’s ready to go, he wants the challenge.”
Jones hasn't competed inside the Octagon since February 2020 where he won a highly-contested unanimous decision over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247. Since then he's had a heavily contentious relationship with the promotion and primarily UFC President Dana White over financial disagreements. Recently White said that he doesn't expect Jones back this year and isn't even thinking about what's next for him until 2022.