Fight fans eagerly awaiting Jon Jones’ return to the Octagon will have to remain patient for just a little longer. Idle since recording a unanimous-decision win over Dominick Reyes over two years ago at UFC 247, Jones now looks set to resume his career with a highly anticipated clash with former UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.
The UFC is actively targeting a Miocic vs Jones bout for UFC 282 in December, according to MMA journalist Ariel Helwani. Nothing has been signed yet, though.
UFC 282 🙏🏾— BONY (@JonnyBones) August 19, 2022
Undefeated in 17 Octagon appearances since 2009, Jon “Bones” Jones is widely considered to be one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time. The 34-year-old owns an array of UFC records while dominating the light heavyweight division, and now looks to carry that success over into his heavyweight debut against Miocic.
Miocic has also enjoyed a long layoff since losing his title to Francis Ngannou at UFC 260. Marquee matchups are nothing new for the former UFC heavyweight champion, who has faced either Ngannou or Daniel Cormier in each of his past five outings.
However, Miocic’s track record has done little to buoy him on the Miocic vs Jones odds, where he has opened as a lengthy underdog to build on his 20-4 professional MMA record.
Stipe Miocic vs Jon Jones Odds
Online sportsbook Sportsbook has published early odds ahead of this clash of titans, pegging Jones as a lofty -200 favorite and Miocic as a +170 underdog. That means sports betting fans backing Jones must wager $200 to win $100, while a successful $100 bet on Miocic will generate winnings of $170.
Odds as of April 28 at Sportsbook
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According to our sports betting calculator, Jones’ odds translate to an implied win probability of 66.67 percent, while Stipe’s odds translate to an implied win probability of just 36.36 percent.
Stipe Miocic vs Jon Jones Betting Odds Analysis
Originally expected to be the main event at UFC 276, it now looks like Miocic will not be ready to return to action until September. According to recent media reports, that is just fine with Jones, who has publicly stated his desire to make Miocic his next opponent.
Miocic’s long layoff is well deserved in the wake of his recent run of fights that has included two clashes with Ngannou and three with Cormier. The Cleveland native suffered knockout defeats at the hands of both those opponents, while grinding out a pair of unanimous-decision wins and a fourth-round TKO victory over Cormier during that stretch.
That represents somewhat of a shakeup in results for Miocic, who finished each of his previous five opponents on punches. Of greater concern is how well Miocic has recovered from an eye injury suffered in his second clash with Cormier at UFC 241, as well as the brutal beating he took from Ngannou at UFC 260 that resulted in a post-fight hospital stay.
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Jones gets set for his return after getting the nod from the judges in each of his past three outings. Of course, it is tough to overlook Jones’ spectacular performance at the sportsbooks, where he has sported average odds of -563 while going 11-0 with one no contest over his past 12 outings.
Can Jones Make Yet Another Successful Comeback?
Jones didn’t miss a beat the last time he returned to action following a lengthy layoff. After fighting just once over a 32-month period while wrestling with both drug-related problems and run-ins with the law, Jones disposed of old rival Alexander Gustafsson with a stunning third-round victory at UFC 232.
Bones’ credentials are undeniable. He holds the UFC record for most strikes landed among light heavyweights. He also dominates on the mat, wearing down opponents with ground and pound, and with a demonstrated ability to win by submission. In addition, Jones holds a four-inch reach advantage over Stipe. But unlike his first comeback bid, Jones is now almost five years older, and it remains to be seen if inactivity has impacted his conditioning and motivation.
Stipe Miocic vs Jon Jones Preview
In the immortal words of Bruce Buffer, a Miocic/Jones matchup is certainly the moment we have all been waiting for. Put simply, this fight is a promoter’s dream – two former champions with contrasting fighting styles, meeting in the Octagon, both with a chance at redemption and hopes for another shot at glory on the line.
Fans of slugfests will be in for a treat. Should these two fighters elect to go toe to toe, there will be no shortage of thrills and violence. However, the advantage clearly goes to Jones should the action go to the mat.
Miocic vs Jones Pick
While dogged by scandal outside the Octagon, Jones has matured dramatically inside the cage in recent years. A far more patient fighter than his younger self, Jones has increasingly played the long game, with seven of his past eight fights going the distance.
Conversely, Miocic has built his career on brute force and spectacular displays of power punching that have produced four wins inside five minutes in his past nine outings. But with health concerns lingering, it is far too early to back Stipe, even while pegged with the longest odds he has sported in eight years.