Who will be the next contender for the heavyweight title?
That question won’t be answered until Jon Jones defends his 265-pound strap against Stipe Miocic in the UFC 295 pay-per-view (PPV) main event on Nov. 11 in New York City, because “Bones” has teased a potential retirement with a win over the former champ.
Miocic, who turned 41 last month, could also call it quits after UFC 295.
UFC President Dana White was holding court after the “Contender Series” program earlier this week and told the combat sports media that heavyweight matchmaking was on hold for the time being, though it probably doesn’t matter to this “resting” contender.
“As you start looking into what’s possible next year, it’s absolutely fascinating,” White said. “Real life stories, as they play out, are better than any script you could ever write and that’s what makes this sport so awesome.”
Russian powerhouse Sergei Pavlovich and French phenom Ciryl Gane are tied atop the heavyweight rankings, though it’s unlikely the promotion would rubber stamp another title shot for “Bon Gamin” after posting championship losses to Jones and Francis Ngannou.
Especially with No. 4-ranked Tom Aspinall nipping at his heels.
At this point, the best we can hope for is a conclusive outcome at UFC 295. I’m pessimistic enough to believe the MMA gods would smite us with another eye poke or illegal knee, leading to a No Contest or even a disqualification (it happens, even in title fights).
For more on the upcoming UFC 295 PPV event click here.