We haven’t seen Jon Jones in the Octagon since February 2020. That’s when he defended his UFC light heavyweight title against Dominick Reyes.
Since then, Jones has vacated the title, claimed he was moving to heavyweight, attempted to finesse a big money match-up versus Francis Ngannou and been arrested on suspicion of domestic assault.
The domestic assault charge, stemming from a 911 call to Caesar’s Palace the night after Jones was honoured at the 2021 UFC Hall of Fame ceremony, was later squashed when the alleged victim did not opt to participate in the case against Jones.
Since avoiding serious repercussions from this arrest, the latest in a long string of incidents that have involved Jones throughout the bulk of his UFC career, Jones appears to be re-focused on preparing to fight in the UFC’s heavyweight division.
It has been speculated that Jones could return to the cage in 2023. However, it’s best to see it before you believe with most things in MMA; even when it doesn’t involve the twists and turns that often include Jones.
Despite there being approximately zero chance that they face each other in competition, Jones has also spent much of the last few years beefing online with Israel Adesanya.
Each misstep from Jones has been met with derision from Adesanya. And each fighting performance from Adesanya has been met with scoffs from Jones. Occasionally, the pair have directly exchanged barbs, which usually resulted in one telling the other that they could beat them in a fight.
One person who is sure that fight would go in favour of the much (much) larger Jones is Henry Cejudo, who has trained Jones a little since ‘Bones’ was famously booted from Mike Winkeljohn’s gym.
In a live Q&A Cejudo spoke about the pair and what would happen if they ever fought.
“Jones would kill Israel,” he claimed (ht Sportskeeda). “If you were to let Jones, like, literally kill him, Jones would kill him. That’s how much he doesn’t like him.”
Cejudo went on to say he himself isn’t that wild about Adesanya. He cited a tweet by Adesanya as the reason why.
“But it’s understood though. The reason why I kind of started not becoming a fan of Israel is just because of the simple fact that he talked about his [Jon Jones’] mom who is deceased. For me that was like a dealbreaker.”
UFC middleweight champion Adesanya is undefeated at 185 lbs. His sole MMA loss was at light heavyweight, when he jumped up a division to challenge Jan Blachowicz for the title.
Since that hiccup, Adesanya has defended his middleweight title to Marvin Vettori, Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier. He is currently scheduled to face Alex Pereira at UFC 251 on November 12. Pereira has two wins over Adesanya (one KO) in kickboxing.