Jon Jones has made UFC boss Dana White snigger and cry in equal measure down the years.
Failed medication exams and quite a lot of arrests have scuppered White’s greatest laid plans for somebody he considers among the many greatest ever.
Jones is a two-time UFC light-heavyweight champion with 11 profitable title defences to his identify. He’s by no means been crushed, whereas his solely loss got here by way of a disqualification in opposition to Matt Hamill in 2009 for downward elbows. White himself has been making an attempt to overturn that call for years.
Again in 2015, Bones was meant to defend his UFC mild heavyweight title in opposition to Anthony Johnson at UFC 187.
Throughout a staredown within the build-up to the battle, Jones and Johnson clashed on stage with White frantically making an attempt to maintain the 205-pounders from going at it – or so he thought.
As soon as Jones and Johnson pulled away from one another, each males cracked large smiles and started to snigger at White’s expense as they embraced.
White’s face was an image, he knew he’d been fooled. “He dam close to s*** himself,” Johnson laughed later, revealing he was the instigator of all of it.
“His voice was so excessive, it was loopy however the expression on his face was priceless.”
Sadly, Jones let White down earlier than he might ever face Johnson.
He was stripped of the belt and suspended from the UFC indefinitely in reference to a hit-and-run incident the place he crashed right into a pregnant lady after which fled the scene on foot. Daniel Cormier stepped into the void and received the title.
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Jones, who might be 35 later this month, hasn’t had a battle since February 2020 and has been utilizing his time away from the octagon to organize for his transfer to heavyweight.
Regardless of the lengthy break from competitors, UFC president White says Jones’ return is on the horizon.
White informed Jim Rome: “Jon Jones is able to go. We’re simply ready for an opponent.
“It’s both going to be Francis [Ngannou] relying on how lengthy his knee goes to take to get well or Stipe Miocic.”
Ngannou is the present UFC heavyweight champion and treasured few individuals – apart from his heavyweight rivals maybe – could have a difficulty with Jones leaping straight into the title battle.
Miocic believes he deserves a trilogy battle with Ngannou, so if the champion can not battle this 12 months due to his knee, an interim battle with Jones might make sense.
The opposite facet of this challenge is, Ngannou’s UFC deal expires on New 12 months’s Day, 2023. If he can’t battle earlier than then and received’t re-sign a brand new deal as a consequence of his need to face Tyson Fury, then Jones and Miocic turns into extra vital.