After three long years away from the sport, Jon Jones has returned to capture the UFC heavyweight championship (watch the highlights here). But how long will he continue to fight?
It’s a question with no definitive answer, but there are certainly hints that Jones is here for quite a while, not long. Asked at the UFC 285 post-fight press conference if there was any temptation to just win the heavyweight title and come back on top, Jones gave a little insight into his thought process. current.
“It’s a big win,” he said. “But I feel like you’re not the champion unless you defend that belt, and I have at least one more in me, and that’s what I’m going to give the fans. “
UFC President Dana White also explained how long “Bones” might be staying, and it certainly doesn’t look like he’s expecting a long stretch.
“Jon Jones is one of those guys that’s so good, so talented,” White said after UFC 285. “But like I said, it’s like dealing with an artist. And he wins a lot money, man. Not many people can say, “Oh, I’m going to take three years and not work. So who knows?”
“He wants to fight Stipe, so we’re going to make Stipe’s fight. And whatever he wants to do after that, we’ll be lucky to see him again. Or maybe he doesn’t, maybe he retires after that. I don’t know.”
Jones clearly has a plan in mind with this return: to secure his legacy as the greatest of all time. And based on his performance against Ciryl Gane on Saturday night, that might not take too many fights. Which is good because he told his sparring partners he might have three more in him.
“I think Jones fights once or twice more,” Yorgan De Castro said in May 2022. “He told me he’ll fight three times and that’s it.”
It’s unclear if Jones’ delayed return to March 2023 cost us any of those three fights. For now, at least, we have Jon’s stated plan to defend his belt and defeat what he considers the best heavyweight of all time. It should go down this summer. We’ll have to wait and see what happens after that.
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