Sunday, November 27, 2022

UFC Press Release Likely Ends Jon Jones’ 2022 Plans

Jon Jones‘ hopes of returning by the end of the year have been put in great jeopardy after a recent UFC press release regarding UFC 282.

As shared by MMA journalist Ariel Helwani and others on Tuesday, the UFC has officially tabbed the light heavyweight title rematch between Jiří Procházka and Glover Teixeira as the UFC 282 headliner. This came shortly after Jones tweeted his plans to fight Stipe Miocic at UFC 282.

It’s uncertain if the press release was a response to Jones’ tweet or if the UFC intended on making the announcement days in advance. Regardless, the timing of the press release is interesting

Jones has yet to make his heavyweight debut after nearly three years of training for the move up in weight. He hasn’t fought since a win over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247, vacating the belt shortly after.

Jones has teased a matchup with Miocic after talks of a fight with Ngannou went cold. Ngannou is recovering from knee surgery and is targeting a return in early 2023.

Jon Jones Will Likely Return In 2023 After UFC 282 Main Event Reveal

Jon Jones
Yahoo! Sports

Unless Jones opts for a UFC 282 co-main event slot, he’ll go another year without making his heavyweight debut. Although, the latest setback could match him up with Ngannou upon the UFC heavyweight champion’s return next year.

Speculation surrounding a possible interim heavyweight title bout has subsided as Ngannou gets closer to returning. It had been posited that Jones could’ve fought for an interim title for his planned fight against Miocic.

As the first quarter of 2023 UFC events begins to take shape, Jones remains without a date and opponent for his first fight in the heavyweight division. He’ll look to remain patient and make a triumphant return to the Octagon next year.

What do you think about Jon Jones’ delayed UFC return?