Bones is currently preparing his body for his debut north of 205 pounds, which has included putting on a sizeable amount of mass to his 6’4″ frame. The former light heavyweight champ will likely compete against the winner of Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou, who compete at UFC 260 on March 27.
Jones shared mitt-hitting footage on Instagram Tuesday, showing off his power and technique.
“It feels good to be hitting mitts more consistently again,” Bones wrote. “Don’t think it’s the best for my bulking considering that I’m back down to 245 pounds. I will admit I feel good at this weight, let’s just see where the cards land. My goal is to compete a lot bigger.”
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UFC President Dana White Has Confirmed to the Media That Jones Will Receive an Immediate Title Shot
Jones ruled the light heavyweight division for years and he’ll have the chance to do that at heavyweight, according to UFC president Dana White. White told TMZ last month that Bones will receive an immediate title fight against either Miocic or Ngannou.
The heavyweight champion, Miocic, will look to defend his belt against Ngannou for the second time.
March 27’s UFC 260 will host the rematch over three years in the making. Miocic defeated “The Predator” via unanimous decision in January 2018, and since then, battle Daniel Cormier in a trilogy, winning the last two fights.
Ngannou bounced back from his loss to Miocic, and subsequently Derrick Lewis, in a big way, winning four fights in a row via KO/TKO.
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Jones Last Fought in February 2020, Vacated Belt Months After
Bones defended the light heavyweight championship for an 11th time in February 2020, defeating Dominick Reyes via unanimous decision. With the victory, he extended his professional MMA record to 26-1 with one no contest.
UFC 247 would also mark Jones’ last time competing inside the Octagon.
In August, Jones announced he was vacating the strap to move up to the heavyweight division.
“Just got off the phone with @Ufc, today I confirm that I’m vacating the light heavyweight championship,” Jones tweeted on August 17. “It’s officially up for grabs. It’s been an amazing journey, sincere thank you to all my competition, Ufc and most importantly you fans.”
“Just had a really positive conversation with @Ufc,” Jones continued. “Sounds like there will be negotiations for my next fight at heavy weight. All good news, the weight gaining process begins.”
Since then, Bones has been preparing his body for his debut, saying that he doesn’t want to rush back into the cage.
It’s unclear what Jones’ timeline is to return back to the cage, but a lot likely rides on how UFC 260 goes for the champion and his opponent. If the victor emerges unscathed, fans could possibly see Bones fight as early as the summer. However, if the victor is injured or they end up competing in a war, the timeline for Bones’ debut could be pushed back to the fall or later.