For as long as most of us have been watching the sport, Jon Jones has been recognised as one of the greatest fighters of all-time. Of course, he’s had his fair share of bad press as a result of actions in both his professional and personal life, but his ability in the cage simply cannot be denied.
Unfortunately for fight fans it’s been a while since ‘Bones’ has stepped foot into the Octagon with his last appearance coming in early 2020 at UFC 247. On that night, he edged past Dominick Reyes with a controversial decision victory to ensure he retained his UFC light heavyweight championship.
It wasn’t long before he opted to vacate the title in pursuit of a move up to heavyweight, but after two and a half years, it has yet to come to fruition.
During a recent appearance on The Jim Rome Show, Dana White gave us all some clarity on what sort of timeline we’re looking at for Jones’ comeback.
“Yeah, Jon Jones is ready to go, we’re just waiting for an opponent. It’s either gonna be Francis, depending on how long his knee is gonna take to recover, or Stipe Miocic.”
Jim Rome went on to ask White what he thinks about how Jones will look upon returning.
“It’s very interesting because I’m a huge believer in ring rust, but, for all the negative things you could say about Jon Jones and his personal life and things that have happened, he’s the best. He’s definitely the best of all time.”
The likeliest option
As much as the masses would like to see Jones jump straight into a title confrontation with Francis Ngannou, that probably isn’t the direction we’re heading in.
Ngannou has already said he’s looking to return in late 2022 or early 2023, which may well force the UFC’s hand. Stipe Miocic has been waiting to get back in there for over a year himself and with autumn being right around the corner, it wouldn’t be out of character for the promotion to create an interim belt for the occasion.