05 Aug - 
Video: Heavyweight Jones looks sharp on the pads
Jon Jones at the UFC 197 weigh-in.
Jon Jones at the UFC 197 weigh-in. | Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Could Jon Jones be close to an Octagon return?

We haven’t seen Jon Jones in the Octagon since his UFC 247 title defence versus Dominick Reyes in February 2020. That win took Jones’ pro record to 26-1 (1 NC) and advanced his record for most successful title defences in the UFC light heavyweight division. The win also tied him with Demetrious Johnson for most ever UFC title defences.

Soon after that win, Jones announced that he was done with the 205 lbs weight class. ‘Bones’ said that, instead, he wanted to move up in weight and test himself in the heavyweight division.

A long hiatus followed that announcement. Firstly, it was due to he and Francis Ngannou’s attempts to secure a bout from the UFC. The promotion refused to make this happen—due to the extra money both men felt such a match-up deserved. In retaliation, the UFC shelved both fighters until they were able to force Ngannou into a bout with Ciryl Gane.

Jones’ time on the sidelines was further extended due to an outside-the-cage incident.

In September, 2021—the day after he attended his UFC Hall of Fame induction ceremony—Jones was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. Officers who were called to Jones’ Vegas hotel room reported seeing blood on his then-fiancee’s sweatshirt and noticed that she had a swollen lip. Jones was charged with battery domestic violence, but the charge was dropped in December after Jones accepted a plea deal.

Jones has been rather quiet since then. However, according to his latest Instagram upload, he appears hard at work in the gym and angling for a UFC return.

Jones is yet to book his UFC heavyweight debut. It is rumoured that, when he does step back into the cage, it will be against former heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic. Both men have expressed an interest in fighting each other in the past (even if both would prefer to face Ngannou for the title).