Stipe Miocic defiant in the face of overwhelming odds against Jon Jones: ‘I hit a lot harder than people think’

Stipe Miocic defiant in the face of overwhelming odds against Jon Jones: ‘I hit a lot harder than people think’

Stipe Miocic has been an underdog several times during his career but something feels different about his upcoming title fight against Jon Jones at UFC 295.

Perhaps it’s the fact that the ex-UFC heavyweight champion hasn’t fought in over two years and his last fight ended in devastating fashion after falling to Francis Ngannou back in 2021. Miocic also just recently celebrated his 41st birthday and it’s well documented that age is the ultimate equalizer even when it comes to the greatest fighters in the history of the sport.

As the fight draws near, Jones currently sits at around a 4-to-1 favorite to beat Miocic but don’t expect the Cleveland native to start sweating bullets because some people are betting on him to lose.

“It took me a couple fights but after I while, I just stopped caring what everyone thought,” Miocic said in an interview with “I just don’t care anymore.

“You think I’m going to lose? Good for you. You’re going to waste a lot of money now. You’re going to bet against me, you’re going to lose some money. Sorry for that but onto the next.”

In preparation for the Jones fight, Miocic ramped up his training by adding some size to his frame after he hit the scale at just 234 pounds for his last bout against Ngannou. He was giving up almost 30 pounds to the Cameroonian native and that size difference definitely worked against him.

While Jones only weighed 248 pounds in his heavyweight debut, Miocic no longer wants to deal with a situation where he’s outsized by his opponents so he’s put a focus on adding extra pounds before he travels to New York for the fight in November.

“I used to be around 240-ish and the [Daniel Cormier] fights, I just kept losing weight,” Miocic explained. “I don’t know. I was eating a ton of food, I just kept losing it.

“So we changed some things up in my camp and I’m eating a lot more and doing the right things. I’m definitely over 240 so 245 [pounds].”

When it comes to matching his skills against Jones in the octagon, Miocic understands that he’s facing a fighter many have proclaimed the greatest of all-time.

Jones has never tasted a legitimate defeat in his career — his one loss came via disqualification — and he’s taken out a remarkable eight ex-champions or interim title holders from the UFC.

It’s an impressive resume to be sure but Miocic has never been intimidated by anybody during his career and he certainly won’t start now.

“I feel strong, I feel good,” Miocic said. “You get some bumps and bruises along the way but it’s training camp. Honestly, I feel great. My head’s right where I need to be. I have a great team with me, we have a great team. At the gym and at home, I’m very lucky.

“[I think] my speed, my angles [and] I think punching power [will give him problems]. I hit a lot harder than people think. I think I have a great IQ. I always change it up and when something happens, I’ll figure a way out.”

There’s been a lot of speculation leading up to the event that Miocic could potentially retire with win or a loss but he’s not ready to address those rumors.

Instead, Miocic just wants to add another accolade to his legacy by reclaiming the UFC heavyweight title and taking out arguably the best fighter to ever compete in MMA.

“[This fight means] everything,” Miocic said. “I think this is what it’s all about. It’s what the fans want to see. It’s a fight he wanted, a fight I wanted. Two of the best going at it, nothing gets better than that.”

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