It doesn’t appear that the uncertainty surrounding former UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic’s return to action is going to dissipate anytime soon.

Miocic, who was unseated from the throne courtesy of a brutal knockout loss to now-PFL star Francis Ngannou in 2020, has appeared to pick up talk of a comeback in recent times.

And following Jon Jones’ successful divisional debut this past March at UFC 285, all signs pointed towards “Bones” putting the gold on the line against the Ohio native in the summer.

But in addition to their expected UFC 290 showdown not coming to fruition, latest rumors have thrown doubt over a discussed Madison Square Garden collision at the end of the year.

Sonnen Suggests Plans For Jones Have Changed 

During a recent interview with former UFC heavyweight fighter Brendan Schaub, Chael Sonnen revealed the latest he’s heard regarding plans for Jones’ first defense.

At UFC Vegas 71 last month, Sergei Pavlovich entered the title picture in emphatic fashion by knocking out Curtis Blaydes in one round. In the aftermath, Sonnen was among many who called for the Russian to be granted the next championship opportunity.

If his recent report is correct, he may be getting that wish…

“I’m hearing strong rumors… Stipe and Jones is going to go up in flames, and Sergei Pavlovich versus Jones is happening in August,” Sonnen said. “I’m hearing strong rumors on that. Strong enough that I can tell you that is at least being pursued. I don’t know where they are in agreeing (it), but that’s at least being pursued.”

Sonnen also pointed to the possibility of Jones and Pavlovich headlining the promotion’s return to Sydney the following month.

While it’s long been expected that Israel Adesanya will top the bill against the winner of Robert Whittaker vs. Dricus Du Plessis, recent questions regarding the quick turnaround for one of the two contenders led to UFC President Dana White teasing a major announcement.

By the sounds of it, “The American Gangster” wouldn’t be surprised if that involves his former opponent.

“If you did have partners in Australia, you promised them Izzy and you say, ‘Look, I can’;t deliver, but I can bring you Jones and Pavlovich, are we good?’ They’d probably say, ‘Yeah, we’re good,'” Sonnen stated.

Interestingly, Jones is set to be Down Under for the next few weeks for a tour across New Zealand and Australia. Should Sonnen’s remarks be accurate, perhaps an announcement will come while the heavyweight kingpin is in Sydney this weekend.

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