UFC 260: Like a Fine Wine, Stipe Miocic Feels He’s Getting Better with Age

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Stipe Miocic, UFC 260 press conference
Stipe Miocic, UFC 260 Press Conference Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Las Vegas, NV — UFC 260 sees the return of heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, fighting someone other than Daniel Cormier for the first time since 2018. Of course, his current opponent, Francis Ngannou, is the last man he defeated prior to the DC trilogy. But through it all, Miocic has been recognized as the greatest heavyweight of all time. Even the greatest fighter, period.

That kind of talk, “it’s great,” Miocic said during Thursday’s UFC 260 pre-fight press conference. “It means I’m doing something right, it means my coaches are doing something right.” Credit goes to his team and coaches, Miocic added. “We’ve sacrificed so much to get here, and we ain’t stopping.”

Miocic is predicting “a hell of a fight Saturday,” and he’s more than likely correct. Heavyweight title fights in the UFC often rise to the occasion. Look no further than Miocic’s recent trilogy with Cormier, who he called “real crafty” and “a good dude,” later adding that the trilogy fights “were good fights. DC is one of the best of all time.”

Waiting in the wings is the spectre of Jon Jones, the UFC’s former light heavyweight champ who has been preparing to make his move to heavyweight. But asked about Jones, the champ dismissed the question. “If it was my decision, I wouldn’t be fighting, I’d be a matchmaker.” A lot of new guys are coming up in the division, Miocic noted — but the focus, frankly, is not coming off Francis Ngannou this weekend.

UFC President Dana White had to pause at the Jon Jones question as well, for different reasons. Asked if Miocic would deserve the trilogy fight with Ngannou should he lose on Saturday, despite Jones already having been promised the next title shot, White replied by saying “I don’t know. We’ll see how this plays out.” It would be tough to deny the UFC’s most dominant heavyweight champ, he added.

As for Miocic, the Ohio native, who continues to serve as a firefighter as well as the UFC’s heavyweight champion, acknowledged that at 38-years old, he continues to improve year in and year out, putting in the time in training. “You have holes in your game, no matter how skilled you are,” admitted Miocic. “It’s like wine, the older it gets, the better it gets. Like a fine wine.”

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