It’s been the best part of three years since we have seen Jon Jones compete in the Octagon but if he gets his wish that wait could be set to end in less than two months.
The former longtime UFC light heavyweight champion has been absent from competition since a pre-pandemic 205-pound title defence against Dominick Reyes, after which he relinquished the world title ahead of a proposed move to the heavyweight division.
Since then, though, not much has changed. Jones has teased the move to heavyweight on various occasions, or we should should say his heavyweight debut, given that the social media footage which has emerged from his training room very much suggests that he has the physique of a heavyweight fighter — but it has been arranging a fight for him which has been the problem.
A world title showdown with Francis Ngannou has been waylaid first by pay issues and then by the knee surgery required by the Cameroonian champion following his title defence against Ciyril Gane earlier this year — but if that isn’t a possibility, Jones says that he welcomes a December fight with Stipe Miocic if all sides can agree to it.
I’m preparing to fight Stipe December 10 in Las Vegas. Not really sure what’s going on between Stipe and the UFC but I’m ready to compete! I’m going to control what I can and stay in shape. https://t.co/3Ouu9Xk8Ns
— BONY (@JonnyBones) October 25, 2022
“I’m preparing to fight Stipe December 10 in Las Vegas,” wrote Jones in response to a fan on social media. “Not really sure what’s going on between Stipe and the UFC but I’m ready to compete! I’m going to control what I can and stay in shape.”
UFC 282 in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas is the card that Jones has in mind for his comeback. It is currently set to be headlined by a light heavyweight world title fight between Jiri Prochazka and former champ Glover Teixeira, and it would be interesting to see if the UFC would opt to promote a non-title main event ahead of that in what will be the organisation’s final pay-per-view event of 2022.
Time, as they say, will tell.