Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones hasn’t fought since February 2020, but is expected to make his octagon return this year or early next year.
Jones defeated Dominick Reyes in the UFC 274 main event to defend his 205-pound championship. Six months later, Jones would relinquish the title and announce his intentions to move up to the heavyweight division. After more than two years, UFC president Dana White says Jones is ready to return.
“Jon Jones is ready to go. We’re just waiting for an opponent,” White said during an appearance on The Jim Rome Show.
Jones’ return has been in limbo after he and the fight promotion couldn’t come to terms during contract negotiations. Those negotiations have either been worked out, or White believes they will be because he’s got plans for Jones’ heavyweight debut.
“It’s either going to be Francis [Ngannou], depending on how long his knee is going to take to recover, or Stipe Moicic.”
Ngannou has been sidelined since March after undergoing knee surgery. He expects to return in December or early 2023. If he’s unable to defend the title in a timeframe suitable to the UFC, Jones would likely face Miocic in an interim heavyweight title bout.