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UFC Vegas 56 headliner slams the idea of a Jones vs Miocic interim title fight: ‘It’s unfair’

Jason Burgos
ufc vegas 56, jon jones
Credit: USA Today Network

UFC Vegas 56 main event participant Jairzinho Rozenstruik is no fan of a rumored UFC interim heavyweight title fight pitting Jon Jones vs Stipe Miocic.

On Saturday night in Nevada, Rozenstruik, the eighth-ranked fighter on our UFC heavyweight rankings, will battle ninth-ranked Alexander Volkov in the headliner of the promotion’s latest card. The bout inside the UFC APEX is pivotal for both to get themselves back into the title contender conversation after each has lost two of their last three, including their most recent Octagon outings.

While neither is likely to land a title bout in 2022, they are active members of the division that are well established and a couple of wins away from being considered serious contenders. That is why Rozentruik is not in favor of a long-rumored interim title bout between light heavyweight GOAT Jon Jones and heavyweight legend Stipe Miocic.

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With current champ, Francis Ngannou sidelined recovering from reconstructive knee surgery, and in the midst of a contract dispute with the promotion, the idea is to keep the title picture active with an interim belt. And for the organization and some fans, a matchup between the pair of MMA greats makes a lot of sense for such a title.

UFC Vegas 56 main eventer says Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic underserving of an interim title shot

ufc vegas 56, jon jones
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

However, as “Bigi Boy” told TMZ Sports on Saturday, he believes Jones and Miocic are undeserving of the opportunity due to their recent heavyweight inactivity, and such a bout for the belt is unfair to those ranked competitors who have been fighting regularly in the last year.

“As soon as I win this Saturday I know that I have something or someone to look up to and see where they rank at. But, as you said, Jon Jones has not fought at heavyweight yet, Stipe hasn’t fought forever,” Rozenstruik said. “The champion is away hurting. People are calling for an interim title [fight], which is fair. What is unfair is who’s gonna fight for it. I hear names like Stipe and Jon Jones and I still think that’s unfair to put them in an interim fight instead of we fighters that are keeping the division up and running.”

Jones has not fought since Feb. 2020 as he has slowly added weight to naturally move up to the heaviest weight class in the promotion. Miocic has not competed since his March 2021 title fight loss to Ngannou.

Yet, while he doesn’t believe the two UFC greats are deserving of a title shot, the Suriname native would be all up for a scrap with either and doesn’t seem to like Jones’ chances in such a booking.

“Two of the greatest fighters that the division has ever seen and if I got a chance to test myself against them; I still think it’s a big risk,” Rozenstruik explained. “Why take a risk against me? As soon as I touch these people they go down. And a guy who’s put on weight coming to the heavyweight division is a different mix.”

UFC Vegas 56 takes place on Saturday, June 4. The broadcast kicks off at 1 pm ET on ESPN+.