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Jon Jones

(Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Zuffa LLC)

Jon Jones Could Make UFC Return In March At UFC 285

Jon Jones
(Christian Petersen/Zuffa LLC)

Jon Jones Could Make UFC Return In March At UFC 285

According to Nolan King of MMA Junkie, MMA legend and former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones could make his heavyweight debut as soon as March for UFC 285. This would be Jones’ first UFC fight since he defended the light heavyweight belt in February of 2020.

First and foremost, let’s get the news on the table, and then I’ll break it down. King explained that Jones has been ready to return, but the UFC has struggled to find him an opponent. The original plan was Stipe Miocic, but the UFC could not come to terms with Miocic. The UFC is now looking for Jones to challenge for the heavyweight championship against Francis Ngannou at UFC 285. The issue is the UFC does not know if Ngannou will be able to fight on that card as he is still recovering from ACL and MCL surgery. If Ngannou can not make the walk at UFC 285, the UFC will turn to Curtis Blaydes or Ciryl Gane. Between the two, Blaydes will be the preferred option as Gane is also recovering from an injury.

The last piece of logistical news is that the UFC wants UFC 285 to take place on March 4, 2023, in Las Vegas with UFC 286 on March 18, 2023, in the United Kingdom.

I know that is a lot of information, but that is everything we know. There is also a lot to discuss. The most important is that Jones and the UFC are on good terms, and Jones wants to fight. In the past, the UFC and Jones have had contractual issues. It is positive to see those issues in the rearview mirror.

With that being said, there is a very large elephant in the room that needs to be discussed. The fact that the UFC is willing to risk a potential fight between Jones and Ngannou so that Jones can fight Blaydes is absurd. Simply put, Jones vs Ngannou is one of the biggest fights the UFC can book right now. The fact that they are willing to risk that does not make any sense.

At one point in time, it would have made sense for Jones to fight Miocic for the interim belt while Ngannou recovered from injury, but that time has passed. Ngannou is nearing his return.

Logistically, it does not make sense either. I understand wanting to see Jones fight at UFC 285. That card needs a main event. However, the UFC does not need a March pay-per-view. As previously mentioned, the UFC wants UFC 286 to take place on March 18, 2023. That will be a tremendous card as the rumored main event is the trilogy fight between Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman.

My question is, why does the UFC need two pay-per-view events in a three-week span? In my eyes, if Ngannou can not be ready by March 4, 2023, all the UFC has to do is push the fight back to April or possibly May. I think I speak for most fans when I say I would gladly wait a month to see Jones return if he is fighting Ngannou. It will be worth the wait. At the same time, the UFC would remain on schedule as they usually attempt to have one pay-per-view card a month.

This is working under the news and information that we have. The UFC could be withholding some important details that could shake this up, but with the information we have, I have had time seeing the UFC pass on a historic fight like Jones vs Ngannou to put on Jones vs Blaydes. It just does not make sense.


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