Last week, “Bones” revealed that he has two dates in mind for his Octagon return, April or July. He hasn’t fought since February 2020, and he vacated his light heavyweight belt in August 2020 in pursuit of heavyweight.
“I’m looking to fight somewhere in April, possibly Madison Square Garden, or a total opposite date, possibly July at International Fight Week,” Jones told Albuquerque TV station KRQE. “Those are the two dates that I’m kind of eying. I think it’ll depend on who wins in January between Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane, and we’ll just take it from there.”
Although nothing is official, there’s a chance he’ll receive an instant title shot against the winner of UFC 270’s heavyweight championship contest between Ngannou and interim champ Ciryl Gane due to his resume.
Ngannou recently spoke with MMA Junkie about the former light heavyweight champion. There was a lot of hype surrounding The Predator and Bones potentially getting into the cage, but it’s died down considerably over the past few months, likely due to Jones’ inactivity and legal problems outside of the cage.
And it’s died down for Ngannou as well.
“Personally I don’t really care about that anymore,” Ngannou said via the outlet. “There is a lot of talk about Jon Jones. He says a lot of things, yet we are still here. I wasn’t even expecting to fight someone other than Jon Jones after the Stipe (Miocic) fight, but here I am. It’s almost 10 months away, I’m going to fight Ciryl Gane which wasn’t in the picture, in the landscape at that moment at all.”
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Ngannou Can’t ‘Bet’ on Jones’ Words
While speaking with MMA Junkie, the heavyweight champion said that he can’t rely on Jones’ word about returning. So, The Predator is just going to focus on himself.
“What Jon Jones says and what Jon Jones does is two different things and I can’t bet on that,” Ngannou continued. “I can’t put my money on that. I just do what I’m going to do and we don’t know what the future holds for us. It’s not something that I’m running against anymore.”
Bones last stepped inside the Octagon at UFC 247 in February 2020 when he defended his 205-pound belt against Dominick Reyes.
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Ngannou vs. Gane Is On Tap for Next Month
Ngannou won the heavyweight strap at UFC 260 in March 2021 when he knocked out reigning champ Stipe Miocic in the second round. He’ll now look to make his first-ever UFC title defense when he takes on Gane in the main event of UFC 270 on January 22, 2022.
Gane won the interim heavyweight belt in August 2021 when he took out Derrick Lewis via third-round TKO at UFC 265.
Ngannou and Gane are also former training partners, however there now appears to be bad blood between the two.