Jones hasn’t been in action since his successful title defense against Dominick Reyes last February. His tight decision win against “The Devastator” was his 26th victory in 28 professional fights. Aside from a disqualification loss to Matt Hamill, “Bones” has dominated everyone in his path and secured his place in the conversation for the greatest of all time.
But after defending the 205-pound gold for a record 11th time, Jones had cleared out his opposition and desired a new challenge on MMA’s biggest stage. Having vacated the belt and announced his intention to move up to heavyweight, many expected Jones to debut in his new weight class this year. An ongoing feud with the UFC over fighter pay has seen the 34-year-old delay his return to action until 2022.
Nevertheless, his goals remain the same, as he reminded fans and pundits through a recent post to his Twitter account.
Despite a potential blockbuster clash with Francis Ngannou falling through, Jones’ plan to dominate yet another division remains unchanged.
With the title picture set for the next few months, Jones will look to make an impact come the new year. And while he’s clearly targeting the title, Dana White has also mentioned a potential bout with former champion Stipe Miocic, who has apparently already accepted the fight.
But before Jones makes his presence known, a couple of heavyweight title fights will go down first, starting with this weekend’s UFC 265 main event. With the UFC wanting Derrick Lewis to headline the Houston PPV, and with Ngannou unable to make the August date, an interim title was created, and “The Black Beast” will battle for it against Ciryl Gane.
A champion vs. champion matchup with “The Predator” awaits Saturday’s victor, but beyond that, the likes of Jones and Miocic should come into play. The heavyweight division will certainly be one to watch for over the next few years.
Do you think Jon Jones can become the UFC Heavyweight Champion in 2022?