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15th May 2017

UFC knock-out monster wants a shot at Anthony Joshua

"I might beat him."

Darragh Murphy

To be fair, who doesn’t want a shot at Anthony Joshua?

As if the ever-growing queue of current champions, mandatory challengers and fascinating rematches wasn’t long enough, ‘AJ’ now has fighters from other sports entirely eager to face off with him.

Last week we saw Junior Dos Santos, the former UFC heavyweight champion, ask for a boxing match opposite Joshua but that doesn’t look to be on the cards.

Dos Santos failed in his latest attempt to regain UFC gold as his rematch with Stipe Miocic ended in brutal fashion, with Miocic knocking out his opponent in just over two minutes in the main event of UFC 211.

Hailed as one of the best boxers on the UFC roster, Dos Santos was rocked on the feet and finished on his knees by Miocic. And all hope of Dos Santos meeting Joshua in a champion vs. champion, cross-sport bout vanished before our very eyes.

But what about the man who put Dos Santos away?

Miocic has proven time and time again how dangerous a striker he is, having knocked out all five opponents since dropping a decision to Dos Santos in 2014.

And the Cleveland native also appears to be keen on a showdown with ‘AJ’. Sportsnet reporter James Lynch quoted a source close to Miocic claiming that he was interested in swapping the Octagon for the ring in a clash with the London 2012 gold medallist.

Miocic recently admitted to being impressed by Joshua’s showing in his victory over Wladimir Klitschko last month.

“Joshua had a lot of confidence coming in. He knew he could hang,” Miocic told the Three Amigos Podcast last week. “Klitschko is at the end of his career, but still, you never knew if the veteran was gonna take over, or if the young, hungry guy wanted it more. There’s just so many aspects you don’t know. You just never knew what was gonna happen.”

Amid all the talk of UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor switching codes to clean up in a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather and terms reportedly being agreed between top UFC light heavyweight Jimi Manuwa and fellow Londoner David Haye, Miocic is the latest mixed martial artist who has toyed with the idea.

The reigning UFC heavyweight champion has not only expressed an interest in the Joshua fight but he’s suggested that he has what it takes to upset the odds and take ‘AJ’ out.

“Oh yeah, 100 per cent. I would love to do that,” Miocic continued. “It’d be great. I’d love to fight Joshua. I think that would be an amazing opportunity against an amazing fighter. I think I’ve got what it takes to give him a run for his money—I might beat him. I know he’s tough, but so am I.”