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Stipe Miocic defiant in defense of Jon Jones fight

Stipe Miocic wants what he wants, and that’s all that matters to him – Tom Aspinall and UFC fans be damned.

A fight between Miocic and UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones has been talked about ever since it first got booked and subsequently fell apart last October after Jones suffered a torn pectoral muscle just weeks before they were set to headline UFC 295 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

To some, Jones vs. Miocic pits two legends against each other in a dream matchup. To Aspinall, it’s a nightmare. That’s because, as the current UFC interim heavyweight champion, Aspinall should be next to unify with Jones – except for the fact that both Jones and Miocic are dead set on fighting only each other, which UFC CEO Dana White is on board with.

While Miocic might feel some empathy for Aspinall, who instead will defend his interim belt later this month against Curtis Blaydes, the truth of the matter is that he doesn’t really care.

“I get it. I’d feel the same way, but I’m not taking anything away from him,” Miocic said in an interview with CBS Sports’ Shakiel Mahjouri. “The UFC can do what they want. It is what it is. There’s only one guy I want to fight, (and) it’s Jon Jones. But at the same time, the UFC can pick who they want. … I’m not holding up any division like everyone says. I don’t care. Do what you want and stop crying. I’m not saying (Aspinall) is crying. I’m just saying like fans and stuff like that.”

So when will Miocic, who hasn’t competed since a knockout loss to Francis Ngannou some 3 1/2 years ago, finally get his shot at Jones? The prevailing notion is that the long-awaited showdown will headline the UFC’s return to Madison Square Garden this November, but that’s only a target – and perhaps far from a done deal if you take Miocic at his word.

“Honestly I don’t know,” Miocic said. “I’m just gonna keep training, and we’ll see what happens. Yeah, that’s all I have to say.”

All Miocic knows for sure is that he wants to fight Jones and only Jones, motivated by the feeling that he’s already been counted out.

“Everyone thinks he’s going to beat my ass. I don’t like being told that,” Miocic said. “I like shutting people up. He’s beatable. I know he is. Anyone is beatable, and I will be the first to do this.”

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