UFC legend Jon Jones teases comeback fight with "champion" prediction

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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 06: Jon Jones of the United States looks on prior to his UFC Light Heavyweight Title bout against Thiago Santos of Brazil at T-Mobile Arena on July 06, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jones defeated Santos by decision. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 06: Jon Jones of the United States looks on prior to his UFC Light Heavyweight Title bout against Thiago Santos of Brazil at T-Mobile Arena on July 06, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jones defeated Santos by decision. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

UFC legend Jon Jones has hinted at a potential return date after tweeting his intentions of winning a world title this year.

Jones, 35, has been preparing for a move to heavyweight for almost three years but is yet to debut in the weight class. The former pound-for-pound No.1 hasn't fought since defending the UFC light heavyweight title against Dominick Reyes in February 2020. Judging by his latest tweet, Jones is edging closer to a comeback as he posted the hashtag: "Champion 2023".

Fans were quick to point out Jones tweeted the same thing last August when he wrote: "Champion 2022". Jones' inactivity has led to doubts over his future as one user wrote: "I'll believe Jon Jones is back when he steps in the cage. Dude is retired and trolling people at this point."

Who do you want to see Jon Jones face in his UFC return? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below

"Jon I have been sitting here waiting since before the pandemic started bro when are ya fighting," a second user wrote before a third added: "I don’t see it. Gonna get big brothered in there. I don’t believe you’ll fight in an octagon again to be honest."

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There have been fears that Jones will be too small for heavyweight despite him standing at 6'4" and bulking up to 255lb, which is 10lb under the weight limit for the division. It's been a decade since the 35-year-old has shared his hopes of fighting in the division, first discussing the move during his reign as light-heavyweight champion in 2013.

The UFC was working on an interim heavyweight title fight between Jones and Stipe Miocic last year, but the title clash failed to materialise. Jones is now expected to meet undisputed champion Francis Ngannou in his return, but Ngannou will first need to resolve his contractual status with the promotion after refusing to sign a new deal after his last fight.

UFC legend Jon Jones teases comeback fight with "champion" predictionJon Jones hasn't fought in almost three years (Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Ngannou defended his heavyweight title for the first time by beating former training partner Ciryl Gane last January, but injured his knee ligaments in the fight. 'The Predator' underwent successful knee surgery but is demanding better terms in a new contract if he is to step foot in the octagon again.

UFC boss Dana White previously claimed that Jones wanted a huge $30million purse to fight Ngannou, something the former light-heavyweight champion has denied. "I never discussed wanting 30 million with you or Hunter [Campbell]," Jones wrote to White. "Just wondering where you heard that number? Is someone speaking with you on my behalf or...?"

Harry Davies

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