Jon Jones Set To Remain Sidelined Until September, Eyes UFC Battle Against Stipe Miocic

Jon Jones
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari - Zuffa LLC

Former two-time UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones has confirmed that he is likely to remain out of action since September of this year, and intends to share the Octagon with former two-time heavyweight titleholder, Stipe Miocic in his Octagon return – describing the Ohio native as the division’s greatest of all time. 

Jon Jones, a former two-time undisputed light heavyweight champion, recently turned in two years of non-activity under the promotion’s banner – with his most recent outing coming back in February 2020.

Headlining UFC 247, Jones successfully defended his light heavyweight crown with a close, dubious unanimous decision win over multiple-time title challenger, Dominick Reyes.

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In August of that year, Jones officially relinquished his undisputed title, in a bid to make good on a long-speculated move to the organization’s heavyweight ranks.

However, in the time since, negotiation fallouts with the UFC, run-ins with law enforcement, and an attempt to carry out a training regime to prime him for the heavyweight division, has seen a move prolonged and drawn out.

Expected initially to return this summer, Jones was linked with both undisputed title fights against champion, Francis Ngannou, and an interim title fight against the aforenoted, Miocic – with a July landing pad at UFC 276 briefly earmarked

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However, Jones’ advisor, Richard Schaefer confirmed to reporter, Ariel Helwani that a July 2. return during International Fight Week was less than likely for his client.

“Jon Jones’ advisor Richard Schaefer told me they are in dialogue with the UFC and “working” on his (Jones’) return but wouldn’t divulge much else. July 2. is way too soon, though, so don’t count on that. Especially if Stipe Miocic is involved. I can’t see that fight happening so soon,” Helwani reported. 

Jon Jones hints at a further sidelining until September this year

Posting on his official Twitter tonight, Rochester native, Jones confirmed that he would likely remain away from active competition until September of this year, and noted his interest in a divisional bow against Miocic.

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“Stipe (Miocic) is saying that he will be at his absolute peak in September,” Jon Jones tweeted. “I’m disappointed but patient. I want the heavyweight goat at his absolute best. I’ll wait until September. No excuses.” 

A September return for Jones would mean the former two-time light heavyweight best would likely make an Octagon appearance ahead of the above mentioned champion, Ngannou – as speculation regarding the introduction of another interim heavyweight title continuing to rumble.

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.