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Dominick Cruz skeptical of Stipe Miocic’s preparation: ‘You’re not fighting a fire, you’re fighting Jon Jones’

Stipe Miocic has his return date.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) announced this past weekend that the next Heavyweight title tilt is official. Miocic makes his long-awaited comeback when he attempts to become a three-time champion by defeating new titleholder and all-time mixed martial arts (MMA) great, Jon Jones.

The fight is set for UFC 295 in New York City on Nov. 11, 2023.

Miocic hasn’t fought since losing his title via vicious knockout to Francis Ngannou in the pair’s March 2021 rematch (watch highlights). The only real rumblings surrounding a Miocic return since then have revolved around a possible Jones fight and nothing was too serious until late 2022. Still working his full-time fireman job, Miocic’s preparation has now come into question by fellow former multi-time UFC champion, Dominick Cruz.

“Am I the only one who doesn’t know how much Stipe’s been training?” Cruz asked on ESPN’s UFC 290 post-fight show. “Have we been seeing videos of him training a lot? Where’s he been? Is he doing martial arts against trees? Because he’s facing a giant, giant man that can fight and it’s not a fire. I’m just wondering. You’re not fighting a fire, you’re fighting Jon Jones. Have you been fighting humans in the woods? I’m just trying to understand what you’re doing to prepare.

“He was training a lot consistently and fighting a lot consistently,” he concluded. “What has he been doing now? Fighting fires, right? I’m just curious.”

“Bones” is in full agreement.

Cruz is no stranger to overcoming lengthy layoffs to reclaim world titles as he did so in Jan. 2016 after several catastrophic lower body injuries sidelined him for the better part of four years. In the 40-year-old Miocic’s case, he’s older than Cruz was when Cruz reclaimed the Bantamweight title against T.J. Dillashaw and Miocic’s never gone a full year without a fight until 2022 in his 13-year career.

For more on UFC 295 click here.

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