It’s hard to believe that once February rolls around, it would’ve been three years since we’ve seen Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) in the UFC. Jones last fought in February 2020 when he defended his light heavyweight title against Dominick Reyes.
Following that bout, Jones decided that it was time for him to move up to the heavyweight division. Now, the last few years have seen a combination of him bulking up for heavyweight and waiting for the perfect fight to materialize.
The UFC has the perfect fight in mind and that’s with Francis Ngannou. Jones and Ngannou originally wanted to fight a couple of years ago, but the fight never came together. Now, Ngannou is the heavyweight champion and the fight is bigger than ever.
Francis Ngannou successfully defended his heavyweight title against Ciryl Gane back in January of this year. Prior to defending his title, Ngannou did some serious damage to his knee and had to have surgery to repair the damage.
While Ngannou is getting closer to recovery, he’s still not quite ready to go. The UFC wanted to do Jones – Ngannou at the end of this year, but Ngannou wouldn’t have been ready. Given the new Ngannou timeline, the UFC is now targeting March for Jones – Ngannou per MMA Junkie.
Of course, there’s one issue there. That issue is Francis Ngannou’s contract. The heavyweight champion’s contract is set to expire at the end of this year. While the UFC and Ngannou have been in touch, there’s no word of a compromise as of yet.
With that in mind, the UFC is making alternative plans for Jones. If the Ngannou fight doesn’t happen, they are contemplating a fight with Curtis Blaydes. The fight would be for either an interim title or a vacant title depending on what happens with Ngannou. Now we know that with or without Ngannou, it looks like March will mark the return of Jon Jones.