UFC President Dana White has assured fight fans that one of their favorite will be returning to the cage in 2023. We’re talking about, of course, about the former light heavyweight king Jon Jones.
“Bones” has been inactive since February 2020 when he defeated Dominick Reyes in his last title fight for now. Jones was contemplaining to move up in category and to challenge the heavyweight champion, but financial issues and contract disputes sidelined Jones for two and a half years.
In October Jones posted on social media that he was preparing to face Miocic on December 10 at UFC 282.
“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,” Jones wrote on Twitter.
White refuted Jones’ claim during the UFC 281 Post-Fight Press Conference on Saturday, saying a fight between Jones and Miocic was never in the works. He also expects to see Jones back in action in the first quarter of 2023.
“Jon Jones will fight next year, for sure,” White said. “We never had a Stipe – Jon Jones fight. He’s going to fight next year.”
With the timeframe for Jones pushed back to next year, it appears the fight promotion is angling for a match between Jones and Ngannou. White confirmed that Jones fighting for the heavyweight championship would be the ideal option.
“I think Jon Jones will be the next fight at heavyweight (against) hopefully Francis,” said White.