Jon Jones has offered up a glimpse of when he might finally be planning to make his long-awaited return to the octagon next year.
“I’m looking to fight somewhere in April, possibly Madison Square Garden, or a total opposite date, possibly July at International Fight Week,” Jones told the KRQE TV station in Alberquerque. “Those are the two dates that I’m kind of eying. I think it’ll depend on who wins in January between Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane, and we’ll just take it from there.”
That appears to be the same rough idea of how things might go that Dana White is sticking to as well.
“He said that he wants to come back next year, which is, we’re looking at a few weeks away. And I’m sure that a lot of his decision making will come after we see what happens in the heavyweight (title) fight. Once that happens in January, we’ll know more about what Jon wants to do,” White told ESPN.
That being said, it doesn’t appear that there’s been a lot of communication back-and-forth between Jones and White this year.
“We probably talked once. I think we had a text session back and forth one time this year,” White admitted.
So, it appears that Jones aspirations to fight at heavyweight remain and it looks like a title shot remains his main focus.
If so, whether that would be against Ngannou or Gane, that would be one of the biggest fights of the year, which explains why he’s targeting April and July, which would land at two destinations primed for such a major event.
The last time Jones and the UFC tried to negotiate over a heavyweight title opportunity it didn’t go well though due to the former light-heavyweight kingpin’s financial demands, so time will tell if the two parties can see eye-to-eye when they do finally get back to the negotiating table at some point after UFC 270 on January 22nd.