If former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou had to choose a winner between Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic, he’d lean toward his former opponent – Miocic – to come through as an underdog.
“Stylistically, Stipe,” Ngannou told CBS Sports’ Shakiel Mahjouri. “I fought Stipe twice, and I think Stipe doesn’t have the credit that he deserves. Obviously, I won the second time, but still, I know that I could’ve even lost that time. I know how good he is as a fighter. He fought (Daniel Cormier) three times, and you can see how he fought.”
Jones, the current UFC heavyweight champion, is set to defend his belt for the first time in a highly anticipated fight against Miocic, the former two-time titleholder, in the main event of UFC 295 on Nov. 11 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Ngannou fought Miocic twice in the UFC, losing by lopsided unanimous decision in 2018 but then capturing the heavyweight title on his second attempt with a knockout win in 2021. Ngannou and Jones were linked to a matchup for years, but it never materialized.
Jones is the former longtime light heavyweight champ and will be competing at heavyweight for just the second time. Despite Jones impressing in his debut – a title-winning submission of Ciryl Gane in March – Ngannou still believes “Bones” has his work cut out for him in the division.
“This is heavyweight, and I think it’s slightly different than light heavyweight,” Ngannou said. “I agree that Jon Jones is the best in the light heavyweight, but I think in the heavyweight, he definitely gets some challenge.”
Ngannou, who parted ways with the UFC as the reigning heavyweight champ in January to test free agency, is scheduled to face world heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury in a 10-round boxing match Saturday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.