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Jon Jones targets April or July as potential dates for UFC return, heavyweight debut

MMA: SEP 23 UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages

We’re approaching two years since the last time Jon Jones competed inside the Octagon. The former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight champion was last seen in action at UFC 247 in Feb. 2020, defeating Dominick Reyes to earn his tenth title defense.

Six months later, “Bones” vacated the 205-pound crown after committing to making the move up to the Heavyweight division. But, we won’t have to wait much longer to see one of the greatest ever fight again because the ex-champ has laid out a few dates for his possible comeback fight.

“I’m looking to fight somewhere in April, possibly Madison Square Garden, or a total opposite date, possibly July at International Fight Week,” Jones told TV station KRQE (via MMA Junkie). “Those are the two dates that I’m kind of eying. I think it’ll depend on who wins in January between Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane ... and we’ll just take it from there.”

Dana White has already stated that Jones will get the next crack at the 265-pound title, which means he will be on the edge of his seat to see who wins the upcoming title unification bout between champion Francis Ngannou and interim titleholder, Ciryl Gane. That bout is expected to go down at UFC 270 on Jan. 22, 2022, in Anaheim, Calif., the promotion's first pay-per-view (PPV) event of the New Year.

Despite being out of the fight game for years, Jones hasn’t stopped training, carefully building up his body to bang with UFC’s big men. During that time, “Bones” has found a new gym to call home, training out Fight Ready gym alongside Henry Cejudo and Co. in Arizona.

The move came after he had a falling out with Mike Winkeljohn of Jackson-Wink MMA, his long-time camp.

“As far as fighting, I feel like I’m in tremendous shape,” Jones said. “I’m excited to still be representing Albuquerque, New Mexico. I just recently joined with a team called Fight Ready out of Arizona. So, I’ll be representing both teams moving forward.”

Aside from his beef with one of his former training partners, Jones is dealing with another out-of-the-cage issue after he was arrested this past September in Las Vegas, Nevada, after he was charged with domestic violence.

Jones is due in court in Jan. 2022 to answer to the allegations.