Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Jon Jones may finally be targeting a return date for his next fight in the UFC.
The ex-light heavyweight champion, who hasn’t competed since February 2020, teased his next fight against Stipe Miocic but it’s going to take a little while longer than expected for that matchup to come to fruition.
“Stipe is saying that he will be at his absolute peak in September,” Jones wrote on Twitter. “I’m disappointed but patient, I want the heavyweight GOAT at his absolute best. I’ll wait until September. No excuses.”
Stipe is saying that he will be at his absolute peak in September. I’m disappointed but patient, I want the heavyweight goat at his absolute best. I’ll wait until September. No excuses
— BONY (@JonnyBones) April 26, 2022
UFC president Dana White has stated that he wanted to book Jones vs. Miocic this year with rumors swirling that the fight could take place in July as part of the promotion’s annual International Fight Week extravaganza.
Unfortunately it doesn’t appear July is a feasible date for the matchup, which could potentially turn into an interim heavyweight title fight as well with reigning champion Francis Ngannou sidelined until late 2022 or early 2023 after having knee surgery while also slated to become a free agent by the end of the year if he can’t come to an agreement with the UFC on a new contract.
Sources close to the situation told MMA Fighting that talks were ongoing for a fight between Jones and Miocic but no deal had been struck just yet on an exact date or location for the bout.
Miocic has been out of action since this past March when he suffered a second-round knockout loss to Ngannou, which cost him the UFC heavyweight title.
While the Ohio native had been hoping for an immediate rematch considering he also holds a win over Ngannou in the past, the UFC opted not to move forward with a trilogy between the two heavyweights.
Now all signs are pointing towards Miocic making his return against Jones later this year in what could be one of the biggest fights of the year for the UFC.
Jones has been planning a move to heavyweight ever since relinquishing his 205-pound title but he remained at odds with the UFC over his contract.
More recently, Jones secured boxing promoter Richard Schaeffer as an advisor and he’s been working with the UFC on a deal to bring the longest reigning light heavyweight champion in company history back into the fold.