Jon Jones reveals timeline for UFC return

Jon Jones

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones reckons it's highly unlikely he will return to the octagon this year. 

Jones (26-1, 1 NC) hasn't set foot inside the cage since he edged past Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 in February 2020, a decision which was considered by many to be highly controversial at the time.

The UFC's youngest ever champion was reportedly in talks to face current UFC heavyweight champ Francis Ngannou at some point later this year

Ultimately, those negotiations soon fell apart, with 'Bones' repeatedly butting heads with UFC brass over the American's burning desire to earn a bumper payday. 

Jones himself has now cast doubt over a return to the cage before the end of the year by appearing to suggest he still has some way to go before he feels comfortable testing the waters at 265 pounds.

The Albuquerque native, however, appeared to have put an end to any talk of possible retirement, which comes just days after Dana White claimed 'it wouldn't be a bad thing for him to go out on top.'  

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Jon Jones

Where was Jon Jones born?

White was hoping to have the UFC bad boy face the baddest man on the planet by the year's end.

However, he appears to have given up all hope of Jones fighting again this year. 

"Yeah, I've absolutely moved on," White said during a recent appearance on TMZ. "Listen, I put on fights every Saturday. We have a window where we try to build some fights and make some things happen. If the fights don't happen within that window, we move on.

"I've been saying it since the beginning, Derrick Lewis is the guy who should be getting the title shots.

"He beat Francis Ngannou. He's next in line, he's coming off of great performances and that's a wrap. We're moving on."

Jon Jones

"There's nothing wrong with going out on top either - Jon Jones is undefeated, he's never been beaten."

"For those people that don't know, you see that one loss on his record, he didn't lose that fight he won that fight in dominant fashion like most of his fights.

"It was a time when the Nevada Athletic Commission was at its weakest and there was a referee that shouldn't have been in there and he stole that fight from Jon Jones.

"So, it wouldn't be a bad thing for him to go out on top."

Either way, it looks like the heavyweight division is moving on with or without Jones, as champion Ngannou is getting ready to defend his title against former conqueror Derrick Lewis. 

And should the French-Cameroonian get past 'The Black Beast', he'll most likely still have lots of options for his next opponent.

Read more: Jon Jones fires back at Chael Sonnen and brands former UFC rival 'pathetic'

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