He intends to return to UFC in April, over two years since his last fight, which was in February 2020 in the main event of UFC 247, where he fought Dominick Reyes and took a highly controversial unanimous decision victory.
Of 21 MMA specialist media outlets, 14 had given Reyes the win on their scorecards, but the official results stayed the same and was Jones’ 14th UFC title fight victory, a new record.
However, he vacated the championship in August 2020 due to issues with salary negotiations.
He also cited that his desire to move up to the heavyweight division was another reason for his relinquishing of the title.
He has used his period away from UFC to bulk up, gaining enough weight to compete in the division.
However, his return to UFC could be hampered by legal proceedings against him.
Back in September, he was arrested and charged with misdemeanour battery domestic violence and injuring or tampering with a vehicle, just after being inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame for his UFC 165 fight against Alexander Gustafsson.
The case is yet to be resolved, but Jones has denied any wrongdoing.
He spoke about his return to KRQE, stating: “I’m looking to fight somewhere in April, possibly Madison Square Garden, or a total opposite date, possibly July at International Fight Week.”
Jones also stated that he desires to take on the winner of the UFC 270 clash between Gane and Ngannou, saying:
“Those are the two dates that I’m kind of eyeing. I think it will depend on who wins in January between Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane, and we’ll just take it from there, I’m just a few months away now, can’t wait to see who wins this fight in January.”
His advisor, Richard Schaefer, told SunSports:
“When I started to get involved with Jon, we, needed to, sort of, repair the relationship between him and the UFC, and I always had a great relationship with Dana White, he’s a friend of mine, and with Hunter Campbell as well.
“So I was able to repair that relationship, and then I made tremendous progress in having the UFC agree to allow Jon to fight in his next fight to fight for the UFC heavyweight championship.
“He’s like 260, now, and he wanted to move up to 275lbs. Not just gain weight, but gain weight in a smart way and still be explosive. So he needed a little bit more time.
“The UFC, again, were on board and we were starting to talk of a structure of deal for that big heavyweight fight.”