MMA legend Jon Jones hopes he will return to action for the first time in nearly three years at UFC 282, which is due to take place in Las Vegas on December 10.
Jones hasn’t fought since defending his lightweight title with a slimline split decision win over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 in February 2020.
In the aftermath of that fight, the 35-year-old relinquished his 205-pound title and announced his intention to compete at heavyweight in the future.
Unfortunately, the swelling process and a contract issue with the UFC have kept him out of action ever since – but he now looks set to make his highly anticipated return.
According to former UFC fighter Yorgan De Castro, who recently fought with the former light-heavyweight king, Jones now weighs 255 pounds, just 10 pounds shy of the heavyweight limit of 265 pounds.
That’s a far cry from the skinny 6-foot-4, 205-pound fighter who burst onto the scene in 2008, before becoming the youngest champion in UFC history when he beat Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua in 2011 at only 23 years old.
After tweeting “UFC 282” with the prayer and crossed fingers emoticons, “Bones” expressed his desire to replicate his first title-winning performance against “Shogun” at heavyweight.
“My goal, my dream is for my first heavyweight title fight to feel like my first light heavyweight title fight. Pure domination,” Jones wrote on social media.
This will be easier said than done after a long layoff.
Especially, when the man who currently holds the UFC heavyweight title is Francis Ngannou – who is arguably the fiercest knockout artist in MMA history.
It is not yet known if Ngannou will welcome Jones to the heavyweight division as he is currently recovering from knee surgery and has yet to sign with the UFC after his contract expired after beating Ciryl Gane more early this year.
Another often-talked-about option is former champion Stipe Miocic who has been out of action since losing his title to Ngannou in 2021.
If Ngannou is unavailable for any reason, the UFC will likely create a working title for Jones to fight the man many consider the most accomplished heavyweight fighter in UFC history.
Currently, Robbie Lawler vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio is the only confirmed fight for UFC 282, but British star Paddy Pimblett has expressed his desire to compete on what will apparently be one of the biggest cards of 2022.
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