A light heavyweight fight that’s been talked about for the past few weeks may not happen as originally thought according to UFC president Dana White.
Speaking to the fans in England on Friday, White confirmed that the bout between Jones and Bader is not a done deal, and that Jones may end up facing a different opponent instead.
“I don’t know if Jones is going to fight Bader,” White said. “We tried to put that fight together, but Bader has some stuff going on. Jon Jones might be fighting somebody else, I don’t know how that’s going to go.”
Bader had discussed timing of his next fight when appearing on MMAWeekly Radio following his win over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 119, and stated that he was getting married at the end of October and planned on taking a 2-week honeymoon following the ceremony.
The timing of the fight was in question as Jones had stated he was hoping for a slot on the New Year’s Day card, but it seemed settled that the two fighters would meet at the Super Bowl weekend card instead. It appears now the fight is in question all-together.
Sources had stated previously to MMAWeekly that while the fight had been agreed to verbally, bout agreements for the fight had not been issued and at this point nothing is certain.
As far as the title implications that had been discussed about the fight, White also put those rumors to bed at least regarding Jon Jones, stating he’s not quite there yet, but believes he can get to that point in the next year.
“Jon Jones is an incredibly talented guy. He’s very young, he’s got some fights ahead of him, plus that’s an incredibly stacked division,” White commented. “He’s going to have to go through a couple of guys before he gets a title shot, but at the rate Jon Jones is going he could be fighting for the title next year.”
Jones and Bader are both currently in England for the UFC Fan Expo, but MMAWeekly will continue to follow this story as it develops.