According to Ariel Helwani, the UFC is hopeful that Jon Jones’s return will take place in December.
‘Bones’ has been out of action since his controversial decision win over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 in February 2020. Following that outing, Jones decided to take a self-imposed sabbatical from MMA. He even relinquished his light-heavyweight championship over a pay dispute with the UFC.
Since that time, the former champion has revealed his plans to return as a heavyweight. For years, Jones has teased that he could possibly move to the weight class. However, based on recent training pictures, it’s clear that the former champion has cultivated significant mass for the move.
Despite the announcement of the weight change, no details of a return have been finalized. While the promotion previously hoped for Jones to return against UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, that hasn’t happened. ‘The Predator’ has been nursing injuries since his victory over Ciryl Gane in January.
However, it appears that fans are now one step closer to seeing Jon Jones return. MMA journalist Ariel Helwani reported on Twitter that the UFC is hopeful that the former champion will be the main event of UFC 282 in December. Based on the veteran reporter’s comments, Jones seems down for the headliner.
If they can get Jones x Miocic done, that’ll be the UFC 282 main. If not, the main will be Prochazka x Teixeira 2.
And if they can’t get Jones x Miocic done for 12/10, they’ll set their sights on doing Ngannou x Jones in March, if Ngannou re-signs. Developing.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 14, 2022
Beyond ‘Bones’, things get a bit tricky. The promotion was hopeful they’d be able to get Ngannou on the December card to face Jones. However, due to his nagging injury, that seems like a long shot.
In the event the champion won’t be ready to go, the UFC has Stipe Miocic as an option B. The former heavyweight titleholder has been out of action since being finished by Ngannou last March.
In the event that the UFC can make Jones vs. Miocic for the December card, that’ll be the main event. If they can’t, the light-heavyweight showdown between Jiri Prochazka and Glover Teixeira will be the headliner.
What do you make of this news? Are you excited about Jon Jones’s return? Sound off in the comment section down below PENN Nation!