Jon Jones has been missing from the sport for quite a while. Perhaps the biggest UFC superstar was benched for his ‘excessive’ money demands wen a match against Ngannou was discussed some years back.
Since then Jones announced a move to heavyweight and had his very own brush with law and a series of personal issues. But it looks like UFC is gearing to see him return before 2023 starts after all.
In addition to the already scheduled Jiri Prochazka vs. Glover Teixeira 2 title bout, Ariel Helwani reports that the Endeavor owned promotion is reportedly in the early stages of negotiations for a heavyweight bout between Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic. This news comes as there have been rumors that something significant is developing for UFC 282.
If they can get Jones x Miocic done, that’ll be the UFC 282 main. If not, the main will be Prochazka x Teixeira 2.
And if they can’t get Jones x Miocic done for 12/10, they’ll set their sights on doing Ngannou x Jones in March, if Ngannou re-signs. Developing.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 14, 2022
Jon Jones is the link between the two prospective matches the UFC is attempting to schedule. That would appear to imply that Jones has finally reached a new arrangement with the promotion after more than two and a half years of waiting.
After successfully defending the light heavyweight championship against Dominick Reyes in 2020, Jones vacated his belt.
Regarding a prospective bout against Francis Ngannou in 2021, Jones said in a message on social media, “I had a brief phone meeting with UFC‘s lawyer Hunter a few days ago. As of right now I expressed to him that anywhere around eight to $10 million would be way too low for a fight of this magnitude. That’s all that has been discussed so far.”
However, Jones has previously hinted that he was prepared to return to the UFC. He even suggested that it may happen on the December 10th PPV show.
Miocic has been campaigning for a third opportunity to face the Ngannou and a chance to win back his title. He hasn’t competed since losing his title to Ngannou back in March of 2021. However, in November of last year, Miocic appeared to be very open to the idea of a return against Jones.
“I’m down. I don’t think he wanted it. I don’t know the whole story but I’m down. Then he wants a title shot. I know he’s done well, he’s probably one of the greatest of all time but you’ve still got to wait your order. That’s like me going to light heavyweight and being like I want a shot.”
Ngannou defeated Ciryl Gane in January to unify the championship, and has been sidelined since then due to an injury. Ngannou’s contract with the UFC is still active – until December of this year and Ngannou has indicated he’s interested in free agency and an option to have a boxing match against Tyson Fury – which Fury wants to see happen as well.
Ngannou and Dana White have both shown willingness to negotiate a new agreement. However, as of late September, it doesn’t seem like either party has been pushing for one to be reached.
Regarding his contract talks, Ngannou remarked, “I think we are not in a rush. I’m not in a rush either. I’m not going anywhere, so I’m not rushing. At the end of the day, we have the whole time.