It’s been more than two years since we last saw Jon “Bones” Jones competing inside the UFC octagon, but it might not be too long before the former light heavyweight world champion is back in the cage, and back in the mix again.
Jones relinquished his 205-pound crown in order to move up to heavyweight, and has been builking up while preparing for the test of taking on the biggest, hardest-hitting fighters in the world.
But the heavyweight logjam at the top of the division – with current champ Francis Ngannou and the UFC currently in a negotiating standoff, while former champion Stipe Miocic prepares for a comeback – has meant that the most logical matchups for Jones have been off the table.
But that could all be about to change, with Jones seemingly ready to make his return to action.
UFC president Dana White teased Jones’ potential return during an interview on The Jim Rome Show, and named both the current and former champions as the most likely options for his first opponent at heavyweight.
“Jon Jones is ready to go,” White said.
“We’re just waiting for an opponent. It’s either going to be Francis, depending on how long his knee is going to take to recover, or Stipe Miocic.”
Ngannou is recovering from knee surgery to repair a torn MCL, and has also been vocal in his desire to face WBC heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury in a bout the Englishman has also expressed clear interest in. But a return to the octagon seems more likely, with a fight against Jones the biggest matchup possible for the Cameroonian world champion. Miocic, meanwhile, is looking to bounce back after his knockout loss to Ngannou at UFC 260 that saw him lose his title.
The two-time champion is in training for a return to the fray in a bid to capture the strap for a third time, but it’s unclear whether he’ll be the UFC’s preferred choice for Jones, or whether they’ll lean toward an immediate title shot for the former light heavyweight king.