When you talk about the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) in terms of mixed martial arts, it’s genuinely hard to hold that conversation without talking about Jon Jones. The man has it all when it comes to the game and a record to back it up. If it wasn’t for his out of the ring ‘antics’ if you can even call them that, I’d personally feel quite comfortable in saying he’s top 5, at least. Either way, he’s a huge name draw for the UFC who has talked about returning at heavyweight for a little while now, but will he ever actually return?
Will Jon Jones Return to the UFC?
Jones has been known to cause controversy pretty much wherever he goes. He has failed drugs tests in the past, testing positive for two banned substances, clomiphene and letrozole, both of which are illegal AT ALL TIMES for athletes. He was charged for a hit and run. He totalled his Bentley and was arrested for driving under the influence. He had beef with the organisation when he was publicly complaining about the pay UFC fighters get and most recently he was arrested and charged with battery domestic violence after he was inducted into the hall of fame for his fight with Alexander Gustafsson.
If Jones does return, it is rather likely he would return at Heavyweight now, given all of his recent pictures and videos from training show him looking rather gigantic and after having what can only be described as an almost perfect career at Light Heavyweight, there are some pretty interesting opponents, if he’s to return, there’s no way he starts at the bottom end of the rankings. The lowest-ranked fighter I could see him fighting would be Alexander Volkov who is currently ranked 5th. It would be an interesting matchup with both fighters having similar builds. My money would actually be on Jones here too if I were to bet on it.
The Heavyweight division however is pretty stacked with some interesting characters, from knockout specialists to tanks. What about if Jon Jones was to get paired up with someone like Derrick Lewis? Well, that might be a little bit different for the Rochester man. It would be worth a punt on a first-round knockout in favour of the black beast, so if you are located in New York you will be able to bet for the NY native fighter if he ever decides to come back to the ring at draftkings sportbook.
A fight I would LOVE to see would be against Stipe Miocic. Stipe has been hailed as one of, if not the greatest heavyweight champion of all time, the man has a bit of everything and until recently, he looked pretty flawless honestly. Winning the title in 2016 by knocking out Fabricio Wedum, he went on to defend his title 4 times, he fought a trilogy against future hall of famer Daniel Cormier, losing his title in the first fight before regaining it (1 year later) and then defending it a year later. Miocic has fought Francis Ngannou twice, making him look amateur the first time. The second time however he fought a different Francis who took a measured approach instead of swinging for the hills from the get-go.
Given both men are 6’4″, both men have a decent wrestling background and both men want to taste gold again, a faceoff between Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic to line up a title fight against the winner of Francis Ngannou and Cyril Gane would be an incredible spectacle and who wouldn’t want to see ANY of the potential fights coming at the end of this potential series of events? A Miocic/Ngannou trilogy? Jones Vs Gane? Jones Vs Ngannou, Miocic Vs Gane? I’d watch any of those for sure!
That only really covers Jon Jones returning at Heavyweight, which would be most likely, but what if he was to return at Light Heavyweight? Well, that’s where it gets interesting. The Light Heavyweight division has a new champion right now who you all may know as the 42-year-old Glover Teixeira. Could that be an easy way to claim a belt back for Jon Jones? How would Glover Teixeira handle someone like Jones? He made pretty light work of Jan Blachowicz, but Jones has ALWAYS been different gravy. There’s a potential rematch with Anthony Smith or even the rising star Magomed Ankalaev.
Do any of those get the juices flowing? Okay, what about this. Israel Adesanya stepped up to fight Jan Blachowicz and it didn’t go particularly well, but imagine him matching up against Jon Jones? Stylistically, physically, that could be a SUPER interesting bout. The two have definitely had their differences and have beefed in the past. I can’t imagine that fight being anything other than a top 5 pay-per-view sales figure and a crazy technical fight given what we’ve seen from both of those guys in the past. Sparks would fly, could they reignite the fire and get this fight signed up? Who really knows? To be a fly on the wall in Dana’s office when the discussion for Jon Jones return TRULY gets going eh?
That’s gonna do it for this one! Whether Jon Jones makes a return to the octagon in 2022 or not and excluding all of his out-of-ring antics, nobody can deny the man has truly done it all in the sport and has been one of the most dominant and entertaining fighters in the history of the game. Fan or not, the man has been incredible for many years and never REALLY showed any signs of slowing down. It’s scary to think what he could have accomplished if he’d kept his head straight, isn’t it? Until next time, all the best, take care, MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!