Jon Jones plans to make a return to UFC in the second half of 2022. He would like to meet the winner of Francis Ngannou against Ciryl Gane. (1:05).
LAS VEGAS -- Jon Jones is yet to fight at heavyweight. The long-time UFC light heavyweight champion has revealed to ESPN that he is currently weighing 255 and will soon be able to reach 270 before making his heavyweight debut against Ciryl Gane vs Francis Ngannou.
The 265 pound limit for heavyweight is Jones, who at 6'4" would lose 5 lbs to make it to weigh-in. Jones, who weighed in at 205 pounds for the bouts, is the most successful champion in the history light heavyweight division.
Jones stated that he didn't want to be less than the other guys before his fight with Alexander Gustafsson, which was the first of many in the UFC Hall of Fame. "I want to become stronger, more skilled, and more conditioned," Jones stated.
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Jones has not fought since his UFC light-heavyweight title was retained by a win over Dominick Remey at UFC 247 in Feb 2020. Jones retired the belt in August 2020, with an eye towards a move to heavyweight. Jones has been lifting weights since then and trying to gain pounds to become a true heavyweight.
Jones stated, "Going light heavyweight to heavyweight feels like jumping three weight classes." Jones said, "I just want it to go right."
Jones was reportedly waiting to face Ngannou or Stipe Miocic for the title of heavyweight champion earlier in the year. Ngannou defeated Miocic in March to win the belt at UFC 260. The UFC couldn't agree with Jones to fight Ngannou for the title, so Jones hired Richard Schaefer, a prominent boxing promoter, to help him close the gap.
Gane defeated Derrick Lewis to win his interim heavyweight title. This set up a Ngannou-vs. Gane fight. Jones stated that he heard the bout would take place in January and is now planning to fight the winner in the second quarter 2022.
Jones admitted that Francis is a better financial manager than I am. It's all fine. The belt is what I want, truly. I want the belt and I want lots of money."
UFC president Dana White stated in August that he was interested to have Jones and Miocic fight at heavyweight. This would pit the greatest heavyweight and light-heavyweight fighters against each other. Jones indicated that he is interested in the fight but that it wouldn't be his first choice.
Jones stated, "I'm open for the ideas." "I've been fighting for so many years, I'm looking to make the most money possible, if I am being honest. I fight for my legacy, and I know that Stipe Miocic's defeat will make a huge impact on my legacy. He doesn't currently have the belt, and he isn't the most well-known heavyweight. I want to get the mainstream America interested in MMA and heavyweight. ... Big, megafights."
Ngannou vs. Jones would be the perfect fight for the heavyweight title. This is one of the most important fights that the UFC has right now. Jones said that it's not his only focus.
Jones stated, "I believe it would be an exciting fight, for certain." "Personallly, I feel like a fighter against guys that are tougher, more skilled, and more versatile. Better conditioned. The general public is the best source of excitement. That's going to be a huge fight. It doesn't matter if it's Francis, Ciryl or anyone else -- I just want again to be a champion. Well, heavyweight champion. Although I am the champion every time, I want to be the heavyweight champion."