Jon Jones is widely regarded as one of the best MMA fighters to ever grace the planet. The former long-reigning UFC Light Heavyweight Champion hasn’t fought since February 2020, but has hinted at a return in 2023. ‘Bones’ has his sights sets on a move up to heavyweight and a fight with the UFC Heavyweight Champion, Francis Ngannou.
Jon Jones Aims For UFC Heavyweight Gold This Year
Jon Jones is without any shadow of a doubt one of the best MMA fighters to ever grace the octagon. The 35-year-old holds the record for the most consecutive victories in UFC title fights with 14. Jones’ last fight in the UFC was back at the beginning of 2020, but it looks like 2023 could finally be the year we see the return of Jonny ‘Bones’ Jones.
Ever since his last fight in the UFC in which he defeated Dominick Reyes via unanimous decision at UFC 247, the 35-year-old has been banging the drum about a return to heavyweight. Jones holds the record for the longest unbeaten streak in UFC history (18 fights), but insists he wants to dare to be great and move up to the 265-pound division in an attempt to become a two-weight UFC champion.
Fights with the likes of Stipe Miocic, Cyril Gane and of course Francis Ngannou are the ones that seriously whet the appetite of UFC fans over Jones’ potential return. Could 2023 finally be the year that Jones moves up to heavyweight and challenges for the UFC Heavyweight Title? It looks like that could be the case.
The Albuquerque man took to Twitter last week stating that 2023 is the year he returns to the UFC octagon and becomes the UFC Heavyweight Champion of the world:
— BONY (@JonnyBones) January 4, 2023
One question mark over Jones’ move up to heavyweight is whether he’ll be big enough to compete with the likes of Ngannou. It seems like that won’t be a problem for Jones, who has clearly hit the gym hard and has gained a serious amount of muscle mass during his time out of action.
A fight with Ngannou really is a intriguing one. Would the superior skillset, speed, timing and experience of Jones be enough to beat the more powerful, far bigger, devastating puncher that is Francis Ngannou. Lets hope we find out within the next 12 months!
Jones has previously stated that becoming a two-weight UFC champion is something he has dreamed about ever since he first set foot in the cage. There is no doubting that Jones is serious about a return this time, and is working tirelessly to achieve his goals.
My goal, my dream is to have my first heavyweight title fight look like my first light heavyweight title fight. Pure domination
— BONY (@JonnyBones) August 19, 2022
The former long-reigning UFC Light Heavyweight Champion looks in great physical condition ahead of his proposed move to heavyweight. ‘Bones’ took to Instagram recently on his 35th birthday and posted a picture in which he looks absolutely enormous:
View this post on Instagram
Lets hope that all of this speculation of Jones’ returning to action actually bears fruit. Jones would be a welcomed addition to an already stacked heavyweight roster, and who knows, he could just be the best of them all.
Only time will tell whether Jones’ does indeed get back to MMA fighting this year and gets his opportunity at UFC gold in the heavyweight division, but fingers crossed this is the case and the best mixed martial artists to ever grace the planet is back in action in the not so distant future.
Jon Jones vs Francis Ngannou Future Betting Odds
Francis Ngannou opens up as the betting favorite against Jon Jones if the pair were to meet at heavyweight this year. Jones’ inactivity and the fact he is the far smaller man could be a big reason as to why Ngannou is such a heavy favorite in this potential match-up.
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Check out the chart below for the best potential Jones vs Ngannou UFC odds from BetOnline, one of the best UFC betting apps.
Odds are correct at the time of publication and are subject to change
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