Jon Jones is finally ready to get back into the Octagon and make his long-awaited debut at heavyweight in a fight for the vacant title against Ciryl Gane at UFC 286 on March 18th, but there’s no guarantee that this is going to be the start of a lengthy campaign in his new weight class.
In the wake of Jones fight announcement his manager Richard Schaffer revealed that he would now be the 2nd highest paid UFC fighter ever, behind only Conor McGregor, and that the deal was for eight more fights.
However, ‘Bones’ has since made it clear that it’s not certain he’ll actually compete that many times.
“My immediate goal is to beat Ciryl Gane and to beat Stipe Miocic,” Jones said. “After that, it’ll be conversations with the UFC to see what makes sense.
“But I am guaranteeing the fans at least two more fights out of me.”
That’s not a whole lot given that in a recent interview he stated that, “I’ve been training non-stop for three years, twice a day, some days three times a day. I’ve been waiting for this moment for a really long time.”
That being said, it’s not unheard of as Georges St.Pierre stayed retired for four years, then return and won the middleweight title by defeating Michael Bisping to extend his unbeaten run to 13 fights before promptly disappearing back into the shadows again.
And to be fair to the now 35-year-old Jones, if he was able to win the heavyweight title and defend it in back-to-back fights against Gane and Miocic then that would be a remarkable achievement that would further enhance an already stellar resume that includes 11 successful title defenses at light-heavyweight while defeating one of the most formidable line-up of opponents in the history of the sport, including the likes of Mauricio’ Shogun’ Rua, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Chael Sonnen, Alexander Gustafsson (x2), Glover Teixeira and Daniel Cormier (x2).