Ex-Champion Jon Jones Gives Anticipated Update on November UFC Return

Jon Jones

Getty Jon Jones

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is nearing his Octagon return, but he’s unsure if it’ll happen in November. And “Bones” also doesn’t know if he’ll take on current champion Francis Ngannou or ex-king Stipe Miocic.

That’s what he wrote in a tweet on August 5.

“I’ve been hearing whispers about November but honestly I have no clue,” Bones tweeted. “Been hearing that Francis could possibly be back on the table though.”

The promotion will likely head back to Madison Square Garden in New York City on November 12 for UFC 281, and a heavyweight bout featuring Bones appears to be what the UFC is pursuing.

For months, Jones and Miocic have been linked for a late-2022 clash as Ngannou sits on the sideline and recovers from knee surgery. UFC president Dana White spoke with Jim Rome in June about Jones’ Octagon comeback, and he confirmed that the former 205-pound king was “ready to go,” and that the promotion was waiting to learn more information about Ngannou’s recovery timeline.

“Jon Jones is ready to go,” White said via MMA Junkie. “We’re just waiting for an opponent. It’s either going to be Francis (Ngannou), depending on how long his knee is going to take to recover, or Stipe Miocic.”

Jones echoed White’s words in another tweet, writing that he was focusing on getting bigger while the UFC sorted out who he’ll take on.

“Correct me if I’m wrong but I’m pretty sure in one of Dana‘s last interviews he stated ‘Jon’s ready to go, just waiting to see what happens between Stipe and Francis,'” Jones tweeted. “Right now I’m focusing on controlling what I can, that’s packing on the pounds.”

Jones Hasn’t Fought for Over 2 Years, Miocic & Ngannou Clashed Last Year

Ngannou underwent surgery in March to reconstruct his ACL and repair his MCL. He’s expected to be out at least nine months, but it could take closer to a  year for “The Predator” to get back to action.

Jones hasn’t competed since he successfully defended his light heavyweight strap against Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 in February 2020. He vacated his championship in the summer of 2020 and has been preparing for his heavyweight debut ever since.

Miocic last fought at UFC 260 in March 2021 when he dropped the belt to Ngaannou via second-round KO. And for The Predator, his last trip to the cage was in January when he notched his first title defense by besting Ciryl Gane on the scorecards at UFC 270.

White Considers Jones the Greatest Ever But Recently Said Kamaru Usman Is Nearing That Status

In the same June interview with Rome, White declared Jones the greatest fighter of all time.

“It’s very interesting because I’m a huge believer in ring rust,” White said via MMA Junkie. “But for all the negative things you could say about Jon Jones and his personal life and things that have happened, he’s the best. He’s definitely the best of all time.”

But during the UFC 277 post-fight press conference last weekend, White told the media that current welterweight champion Kamaru Usman was nipping at Jones’ heels in terms of achieving GOAT status.

“You know, I still consider Jon Jones… It’s time to start talking about Kamaru Usman, you know?” White said via MMA News. “He’s one fight away from tying Anderson Silva. He already beat Jon Jones and GSP. And in his next fight if he beats Leon Edwards, he ties Anderson Silva. So, yeah he’s in the discussion.”

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