In this generation, nothing is impossible if there is business.
Last year, we saw two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor challenge undefeated boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a crossover boxing match. Now, we are being teased with a possibility of another super fight between champions from both fight sports. And this one could be bigger, both figuratively and literally.
There are reports that UFC President Dana White intends to offer Joshua a $500M promotional contract and Joshua being open and all ears to any offer. White is expected to be present during Joshua’s unification bout with WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker and is expected to present his proposal afterward. If somehow all goes as planned and White gets a deal with AJ and his team, then Miocic could very well be in the conversation too.
In the past, Miocic has talked about his desire to fight Anthony Joshua. In fact, the two had already gone back and forth in social media last year. We saw how huge the reception for Mayweather vs McGregor was. Joshua vs Miocic could be of titanic proportions.
It won’t be just another crossover bout between boxing and MMA. Nor would it be just a super fight between two champions from different disciplines. It would be a fight for the title of the Baddest Man on the Planet. But where would they fight: inside boxing ring or inside a mixed martial arts cage?
Miocic is an excellent striker and for an MMA fighter, he is a very good boxer with legit one punch knockout power. But if you put him inside a boxing ring with the sport’s heavyweight champion and a former Olympic gold medalist, that is another story. Sure, Miocic will always be a live opponent because of his knockout power but Anthony Joshua is the most skilled heavyweight boxer on the planet.
AJ is going to dictate a boxing bout between the two. He is going to keep his distance and punish Miocic from the outside. Miocic’s best chance would be to land a haymaker and deliver a home run. That would be a fairytale ending but yeah, that is easier said than done.
Anthony Joshua is too smart to get caught in a brawl with a heavy hitter like Miocic. It’s going to be entertaining but just like Mayweather vs McGregor, it’s going to be a no-contest. Let both men fight in four-ounce gloves and it’s going to be an entirely different ballgame.
Joshua has talked about his interest in crossing over to MMA and fighting the likes of Francis Ngannou and Jon Jones. Given Ngannou’s raw and little experience in MMA and given Jones’ lack of size, one would like AJ’s chances in both matchups, no matter how slim they would be.
Fighting Miocic would be an entirely different animal. Not only does Stipe match Ngannou in size and brute strength, the UFC heavyweight champ has more than enough wrestling and grappling skills to punish Joshua on the ground in a one-sided affair. In fact, MMA experts are installing Miocic as a massive favorite to beat Joshua in a crossover MMA fight. They may be correct.
In the past, we saw James Toney’s foray to MMA end with the former boxing champion getting taken down by Randy Couture one minute into their UFC 118 bout. Toney never got back to his feet and he ended up tapping after three minutes after absorbing massive punishment. The James Toney experiment is a lesson to every boxer who steps inside a mixed martial arts cage. Anthony Joshua is no exception.
A Joshua vs Miocic bout is indeed a salivating proposal for any fight fan. But first, Joshua must get past Parker and Dana White must get AJ to sign a promotional contract. And then of course, Miocic has to settle his own business first. First things first.
Miocic is booked to fight UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier in a super fight at UFC 226. And while Miocic is a slight -188 favorite ( According to Betway odds as of March 24th ) to defeat Cormier, DC is not going to be a walk in the park for him.
Cormier possesses the elite wrestling that Miocic’s previous opponents didn’t have. And it’s not that Miocic has the edge in size because Cormier is used to fighting bigger guys on a day to day basis in training. And yes, don’t forget that DC used to fight as a heavyweight before and he was Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix champion in 2012.
If the Stars Align
But doubt Miocic if you want. Many, perhaps even including his employers, doubted him during his UFC 220 title defense against Francis Ngannou. But Miocic proved his worth by derailing the Ngannou hype train. Cormier is no hype but he’s going into a fight with arguably the best but underappreciated heavyweight champion of all-time.
If the stars align, Anthony Joshua beats Joseph Parker and signs a mammoth promotional deal with the UFC. Then Stipe Miocic takes care of his business by defeating Daniel Cormier. If these happen, the possibilities are limitless.
When we first heard it, we laughed at the idea of Conor McGregor fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr. We ended up paying the PPV fee to watch them fight. The fight sport continues to evolve as the business has become bigger.