It's official: Jon Jones, one of the greatest fighters in MMA history, is returning to the octagon. Jones will make his long-awaited debut in the heavyweight division at UFC 285, where he will headline the event against Cyril Gane in a fight for the vacant heavyweight belt.
Jones' immediate goal is to beat Gane and potentially Stipe Miocic, but he's not looking too far ahead just yet.
The Road to the Heavyweight Belt
With Francis Ngannou leaving the UFC, the heavyweight belt was left vacant.
Jones, who has been out of competition for three years, saw this as an opportunity to make his move to the heavyweight division. He spoke about his comeback, saying, "I’m excited, I’m grateful, I feel humble, I feel appreciated by the company I work for, I feel like I’m in a really good place,” Jones told The Underground. “MMA feels fun to me again.
Obviously, with being out for three years and a new division, there’s a lot of questions that cause me to stay up long nights, but it keeps me sharp. That’s something I felt like I didn’t have at light heavyweight toward the end.
It just felt like another day at the office."
Jones vs Gane: A New Challenge
Jones' opponent, Gane, may not have the same level of recognition as Ngannou, but Jones is taking the challenge seriously. "I think the fight that meant the most to me was fighting Stipe Miocic.
That’s the fight that actually means the most to me because Stipe is the greatest heavyweight of all time. I’m not looking past Ciryl Gane at all. I’m very honored to fight Ciryl Gane and I knew it would be happening eventually, inevitably, but that’s the fight I was really bummed didn’t happen,” Jones said.
Jones on Stipe Miocic
"I think the fight that meant the most to me was fighting Stipe Miocic. That’s the fight that actually means the most to me because Stipe is the greatest heavyweight of all time. I’m not looking past Ciryl Gane at all.
I’m very honored to fight Ciryl Gane and I knew it would be happening eventually, inevitably, but that’s the fight I was really bummed didn’t happen." "My immediate goal is to beat Ciryl Gane and to beat Stipe Miocic,” Jones said.
“After that, it will just be conversations with the UFC to see what makes sense, but I’m guaranteeing the fans at least two more fights out of me." The stage is set for Jones' highly-anticipated return to the octagon at UFC 285.
Will he be able to add the heavyweight belt to his collection of accolades? Only time will tell. But one thing is for certain, Jones vs Gane is a fight that should not be missed.
Stipe Miocic confident of a win against Jon Jones: “I have a great IQ”
UFC 295: Jon Jones vs Stipe Miocic officially announced
Daniel Cormier believes Jon Jones shouldn’t win the best MMA fighter ESPY award
Jon Jones offers help to Mark Zuckerberg for the match against Elon Musk
Tyson Fury blames Joe Rogan for initiating the Jon Jones fight talk
Daniel Cormier shares his thoughts on Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou’s face off