Jon Jones is preparing for his return to the UFC in a heavyweight fight with Ciryl Gane but admits that another bout was his first choice.
It has been over two years since the last time MMA great, Jon Jones stepped foot in the UFC Octagon. Back in 2020, Jones decided to take some time away from the sport, relinquished his light heavyweight title, and set his sights on a move to heavyweight. Now he finally has his return date set, he will be fighting former interim champion Ciryl Gane in the main event of UFC 285 on March 4. This booking was a long time coming and was not without some difficulties. Although Jones will be fighting for the heavyweight belt, which was his goal, he admits that he was looking for a fight against someone else.
Up until the news of this fight was announced, Francis Ngannou was the UFC heavyweight champion. He has since been released from the organization and Jones and Gane will step into the title bout. Jones and Ngannou were rumored to be facing each other, but that fight was never able to be booked. Due to contract negotiations, Ngannou choose to leave the UFC instead of taking a lesser offer than he expected. Jones was linked to a bout with him and Stipe Miocic over the last few months, the latter was the more attractive fight for Jones.
Jon Jones expresses that the most intriguing fight for him would have been against Stipe Miocic
Briefly, there were rumors that Miocic would be returning to the UFC to face Jones, unfortunately, that was not the direction the UFC chose to move in. Jones is now explaining that the fight was offered and he was really looking forward to it. He spoke about this and more in an interview with MMA Underground.
“Obviously, Francis has the belt so taking it from him would have been nice, so yeah, it’s a different fight. You know, it’s a complete different, stylistically, it’s a different fight,” he said. “I think the fight that meant the most to me, was fighting Stipe Miocic. That’s the fight that actually means the most to me, because Stipe is the greatest heavyweight of all time. I’m not looking past Ciryl Gane at all. I’m very honored to fight Ciryl Gane, and I knew that would be happening eventually, inevitably. But yeah, that’s the fight that I really was bummed didn’t happen.
“My immediate goal is to beat Ciryl Gane and to beat Stipe Miocic,” Jones said. “After that, it will just be conversations with the UFC to see what makes sense, but I’m guaranteeing the fans at least two more fights out of me.”
Jones might be able to get his wish after all. Miocic has expressed interest in fighting Jones if he can get past Gane in March. He offered to face the winning in the summer. Miocic has also been out of competition for a while now, his last UFC bout was in March of 2021.