While speaking to Max Kellerman on ESPN show First Take, UFC president Dana White confirmed again that former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will fight the winner of the much-anticipated title fight rematch between heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou.
However, White mentioned that the fight will happen sometime in the fall, as opposed to his previous claim of making the fight happen in summer.
"Jones has been training for this moment for a while now. He's been putting on weight... and preparing to move up to heavyweight. I'm sure he'll be watching closely on Saturday night and then, whoever wins, we'll figure out when this fight happens. Assuming what makes the most sense, it's Jones vs the winner (of UFC260) sometime in the fall," Dana White said.
After defending the light heavyweight title 11 times during two separate title reigns, Jon Jones vacated the title in 2020 in a bid to pursue heavyweight championship gold.
UFC president Dana White has announced that Jon Jones will get an immediate title shot upon his move up to heavyweight. However, the debut was delayed as Jones took time off to gain weight to compete against much bigger opponents in the 265lb division.
Jon Jones vs Stipe Miocic was close to getting booked five years ago
The original UFC 196 fight card in February 2016 was supposed to be headlined by the title fight rematch between heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum and former champ Cain Velasquez. After Velasquez pulled out of the fight a week before the event due to a back injury, the UFC confirmed that Stipe Miocic will step in as the short-notice opponent for Fabricio Werdum.
However, Werdum pulled out of the fight within 24 hours, citing a foot injury. Stipe Miocic was left without an opponent. Rumors of an interim UFC heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic started taking root.
Jones took to Twitter and proclaimed that he would step in to fight Miocic if the UFC was ready to put the undisputed title on the line. The fight never materialized and the UFC 196 PPV event was changed to a Fight Night card after no title fight could be booked for the main event slot.