Former two-time undisputed UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, now appears closer than ever to an Octagon return for the first time in over two years, with reports detailing how the promotion are expecting him to feature at UFC 285 on March 5. next – weighing up fights against both champion, Francis Ngannou, or contender, Curtis Blaydes.

Jones, a former two-time undisputed light heavyweight titleholder, under the UFC banner, has been sidelined since UFC 247 back in February 2020, on that occasion narrowly defeating recent feature, Dominick Reyes in a unanimous decision win in Houston, Texas.

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In the time since, Jon Jones officially relinquished the light heavyweight crown in August of that year, announcing plans to make a move to the promotion’s heavyweight division.

However, in the time since, a combination of negotiation fallouts with the promotion, a Las Vegas arrest last year, and the want to complete a strict training regiment before a move has yet to see Jones compete under the UFC banner.

With a matchup against former heavyweight kingpin, Stipe Miocic rumored in recent weeks, the promotion appear to have since moved on from that projected pairing.

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Jon Jones expected to make UFC return on March 5. next

According to a report from MMA Junkie reporter, Nolan King this Tuesday evening, Jones is now expected to feature at UFC 285 in March of next year – against either champion, Francis Ngannou, or surging contender, Curtis Blaydes.

“Jon Jones nears a comeback for real, as the UFC plans his return for #UFC285 one way or another, I’m told,” Nolan King tweeted. “With Stipe Miocic out of the picture, Francis Ngannou is the hope. If he’s not healthy, it could be Curtis Blaydes, per sources.”
Cameroon native, Ngannou has been sidelined himself since January of this year, defeating then-interim titleholder, Cyril Gane to unify the division titles. Ngannou has since undergone reconstructive surgery to address a knee injury.

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As for Blaydes, the former Juco national champion most recently landed a TKO win over Tom Aspinall at UFC London back in July, after the latter suffered a leg injury in the opening 15 seconds of the first frame.

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.