Jones has been away from the octagon since he vacated the light heavyweight title back in 2020. 'Bones' had been expected to face Stipe Miocic but the latest reports suggest the UFC is targeting him vs. Francis Ngannou for UFC 285 next year. 'Razor' is also reportedly the backup fighter for the bout.
In a recent interview with Fanatics View, Curtis Blaydes, who is the No. 3 ranked heavyweight, addressed the rumors. During the chat, the American fighter was asked whether he'd rather fight Jones or fight for the title:
"Title shot. That's the ultimate goal. Jon is just the ultimate consolotion but what you workout for every day is the real belt, not the interim belt. The real belt."
Regarding UFC 285 and his involvement, the 31-year-old admitted that he knows as much as the fans, but he's willing to be a backup fighter:
"That's about as far as I know as well. Seeing as how it's been reported by all these official MMA websites, I think it's legit and I'll begin preparing once I'm home after the holidays and I'll be ready... I don't mind being a back-up because you never know with Jon. You never know. I'll be there and I'll be on weight."
Catch the full interview here:
Sean O'Malley says Jon Jones must fight for a title on his return, even if against Curtis Blaydes
Fans of Jon Jones are getting excited at the prospect of the light heavyweight GOAT making his long-awaited return after almost three years.
While it was expected that 'Bones' would face Stipe Miocic on his return, a title fight between Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou is on the cards. This is if 'The Predator' has fully recovered from the knee injury he suffered at the start of 2022 against Ciryl Gane.
Sean O'Malley reacted to the news on the BROMALLEY podcast. He stated that it would have been a waste of Jones' time away from the UFC if he doesn't fight for the title immediately. This is even if he faces Curtis Blaydes instead of Ngannou:
"Even if Jon fights...even if Jon doesn't fight Francis[for title belt], it'll be for an interim belt... So regardless... he's maybe if there was talks. But Jon Jones coming back and not fighting for a belt makes zero sense."
For now, it looks as though the UFC is planning for Jon Jones to headline UFC 285 against either Francis Ngannou or Curtis Blaydes. Either the heavyweight or interim title will be on the line in the fight.
Catch the full podcast here: