Jon Jones
Jon Jones Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images


  • The UFC is reportedly targeting Jon Jones vs. Francis Ngannou at UFC 285
  • Jones could also make his heavyweight debut against Curtis Blaydes
  • Jones has been out of action since February 2020

Former longtime UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is reportedly set to make his long-awaited heavyweight debut in March of 2023.

According to MMA Junkie's Nolan King, Jones has been penciled in to fight at UFC 285 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

However, who Jones will be fighting is still a question mark.

As per King, the best scenario for the UFC would be to have Jones challenge Francis Ngannou for the UFC heavyweight championship, depending on the latter's health status.

Ngannou has been recovering from a knee injury, and there is still no timetable for his return.

If "The Predator" still isn't ready by then, the UFC is expected to book Jones versus another top heavyweight contender in Curtis Blaydes.

Blaydes took to Instagram to react to the news, saying that he would be ready for a five-round bout.

Currently the No. 3-ranked heavyweight contender in the UFC, Blaydes is riding a three-fight winning streak with wins over Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Chris Daukaus and Tom Aspinall.

Blaydes has also won seven of his last eight bouts.

Another top-ranked heavyweight that has expressed his willingness to compete in March is former UFC interim heavyweight champion Cyril Gane.

Gane said on Twitter that he's ready for Ngannou, Jones or Blaydes.

Presently the top-ranked contender in the heavyweight division, Gane is coming off an impressive knockout victory over Tai Tuivasa.

Back in January of this year, Gane challenged Ngannou for the UFC heavyweight title but came up short—the first loss of his mixed martial arts career.

Prior to this recent announcement, the UFC was reportedly working on a Jones vs. Stipe Miocic matchup, but it never progressed.

Whoever Jones does end up facing for his heavyweight debut, it's sure to be a must-see contest, with people curious to see how the best 205-pounder in history would fare as a heavyweight.

Considered by many the best light heavyweight ever, Jones is a two-time UFC light heavyweight champion and has beaten the who's who in the division.

His list of victims includes Brandon Vera, Ryan Bader, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Rashad Evans, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Alexander Gustafsson, Daniel Cormier, Thiago Santos and Dominick Reyes.

In 2020, Jones successfully defended his title for the 11th time (tied for most in the UFC).

Later that year, he announced that he would be relinquishing the UFC light heavyweight title and expressed his desire to move up to the heavyweight division.

Since then, Jones has been working towards his UFC return.