JON JONES’ UFC return appears to have been leaked – as a Las Vegas venue displayed a huge advert promoting the legend facing Ciryl Gane for the heavyweight title on March 4.
That would mean Francis Ngannou vacating the crown – after he too was tipped to take on Jones.
Jon Jones, seen landing a fierce blow on Anthony Smith in 2019, could finally return to the Octagon after three years out in March[/caption]
Former light-heavyweight king and pound-for-pound No 1 Jones, 35, has been bulking up for the higher division in nearly three years out.
And an ad on the outside of the outside of Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena suggests “Bones” will meet 32-year-old Frenchman Gane at UFC 285.
Fellow icon Ngannou, 36, has been in a costly wrangle with the UFC over his desire to add boxing to his MMA schedule.
The Cameroonian claims he’s lost millions from possible UFC fights as he wants to negotiate a deal allowing him to box in showpiece contests.
Ngannou last fought when defeating ex-training partner Gane to retain his title on a unanimous points decision in January 2022.
He surprised many that night by using superior grappling to end ex-interim champ Gane’s unbeaten record.
But for now it’s Jones who has wrestled back the spotlight.
And meeting Gane in two months’ time would captivate a sport where some rate him as the greatest ever.
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Some reports, however, suggest the T-Mobile Arena’s banner ad for a March match-up was just a “behind-the-scenes mistake”.
But the prospect of such a mega bout is being taken seriously by others.
Gane, in fact, recently called out Jones for a fight at UFC 285 as he wrote on Twitter: “Where you at Jonny Bones? I’m free this March, Vegas.”
And as long ago as last summer UFC chief Dana White insisted Jones was “ready to go” for his comeback.