Report: UFC Wants Jon Jones To Fight Francis Ngannou At UFC 285 But Has A Second Choice

'Bones' is targeted to make his comeback in March against 'The Predator' and if not, 'Razor' will be the second choice

Jon Jones, Francis Ngannou
Credit: Jon Jones, Francis Ngannou (via Instagram)

UFC wants Jon Jones to return for UFC 285 in March against Francis Ngannou. However, Curtis Blaydes will take his place if the matchup does not come to fruition.

Former light heavyweight champion Jones has been out of action since his last outing against Dominick Reyes in Feb. 2020 at UFC 247. Jones managed to edge out Reyes in a close-fought war many believe could have swung either way. Following the razor-thin win, Jones vacated his 205-pound title and announced a move up to the heavyweight division.

Nearly three years on, Jones is yet to step back inside the cage.

UFC wants Jon Jones to fight Francis Ngannou at UFC 285 but has a second choice

Nolan King of MMA Junkie reported that Jon Jones is inching closer to his return to action. He shared that the promotion wants to pit him against Ngannou for UFC 285 on Mar. 4. However, if the booking does not work out with the reigning heavyweight champion, top-ranked contender Curtis Blaydes will be tapped to welcome Jones to the division.

“Jon Jones nears a comeback for real, as the UFC plans his return for #UFC285 one way or another, I’m told. With Stipe Miocic out of the picture, Francis Ngannou is the hope. If he’s not healthy, it could be Curtis Blaydes, per sources.”

Jones was previously rumored to take on former king Stipe Miocic, the greatest heavyweight champion in the history of the company, for an interim title in his divisional debut. King shared that UFC tried to get a matchup between Jones and Miocic for a number of dates, but nothing materialized as negotiations fell sideways, essentially ruling out any possibility of the pairing except for a miracle.

UFC was also looking at Ciryl Gane but is concerned about the timeline for his return

Former interim heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane is a dynamic striker who went undefeated in his professional mixed martial arts career until Ngannou defeated him in Jan. at UFC 270. He got back in the winning column in his last outing against fan favorite Tai Tuivasa in Sep. at UFC Fight Night 209, the company’s debut event in France.

UFC also considered Gane as the potential star for Jones’ comeback but given the injury he suffered in his last appearance, there is a risk he may not be ready in time to fight Jones in March.

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