Stipe Miocic is set to take on Jon Jones for the UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 295 on November 11, 2023. The American fighter, who has enjoyed success in boxing and wrestling early in his career, opened up about how his UFC contract stopped him from getting into a boxing match recently.
Miocic is one of the most accomplished UFC Heavyweight fighters. He has numerous records to his name including the highest UFC Heavyweight title defenses (3) and the most consecutive UFC Heavyweight title defenses (4).
In his last fight, Miocic lost his title to Francis Ngannou in March 2021 at UFC 260. Ngannou moved on to boxing and left the UFC, consequently, leaving the Heavyweight title vacant. Ciryl Gane and Jon Jones fought for the vacant title at UFC 285 and Jones emerged victorious.
“You’re in the contract with the UFC, so it’s kind of hard to go the opposite way, because you’re a mixed-martial artist, not boxer.”
Stipe Miocic revealed he tried to take a boxing fight but couldn’t due the UFC pic.twitter.com/of7J4Jf96r
— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) October 2, 2023
Miocic, in an interview with Bloody Elbow, was asked if he had any plans of a boxing rendezvous like Ngannou. He responded, “Yeah, no, I definitely tried, you know. It just didn’t work out. They couldn’t find any agreement. I guess you would say, you’re in the contract with the UFC, so it’s kind of hard to go the opposite way, because you’re a mixed-martial artist, not boxer.
It didn’t work out, you know, I’ve definitely tried. The worst thing they could say is ‘no.’ But listen, I wish nothing but the best for Francis.”
The exact length of Miocic’s contract with the UFC is not known at this point. However, it will not be surprising to see the 41-year-old take to boxing — a sport he excelled at early in his life.
Stipe Miocic was an accomplished amateur boxer before joining UFC
Miocic was born on August 19, 1982, to Croatian immigrants Bojan and Kathy. His parents separated from each other while he was young. Miocic lived with his mother who encouraged him to take part in sports. He played baseball, and football and even wrestled during his high school years.
Wrestling was his gateway to combat sports. He started MMA and later joined boxing after graduating and according to his website, Miocic “won the regional Golden Gloves championship and reached the national quarter-finals after only eight months of training.”
However, he chose to continue with MMA over boxing. In an interview with Ariel Helwani in 2021, he explained why:
“I actually started MMA first and then for over a year and a half I was boxing in my state and then I came back. Yeah, I thought about it but I just stuck with MMA. I mean that aspect of it. There are so many different avenues of martial arts in the game. I don’t know, I just love it. Cause every fight starts standing and then you take someone down, kick someone in the head. There’s so many different aspects of the game I loved about it.”
Miocic has not looked back since. He has created a legacy in professional MMA. By many fans and experts, he is considered as one of the best Heavyweight fighters in the UFC.