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Jon Jones still hopeful to make heavyweight debut at UFC 282, but clock is ticking

In 2022, will Jon Jones compete? The time is running out. The opponent for Jon Jones' eagerly anticipated return to the Octagon at UFC 282 has not yet been decided, which will take place inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 10. Although he hasn't competed since early 2020, the former UFC light heavyweight champion is still planning to make his heavyweight debut later this year.

The UFC is hoping to have "Bones" back for UFC 282 as well because Jones is currently dedicated and preparing tirelessly. Jones has reportedly informed UFC authorities that he is poised to make his heavyweight debut on the early December card, according to a report by MMA journalist Ariel Helwani. Jones' opponent and whether or not they need to transfer him to a different date entirely are still up in the air, according to UFC.

The first possibility for UFC 282's main event would be Jones versus Francis Ngannou, the current UFC heavyweight champion. Ngannou's knee injury, which he sustained during his championship defense against Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 earlier this year, is still bothering him. Given the animosity between Jones and Ngannou over the previous few years, the UFC would ideally book this fight, but it is extremely improbable. Ngannou will likely be out until at least the beginning of next year.

Matchmakers will be attempting to book "Bones" against former UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic in an interim title fight if Jones vs. Ngannou is ruled out for UFC 282. Some people think Miocic's impressive variety and wrestling skills would cause Jones more issues than Ngannou's punching strength. Although it is still up for question, it isn't too bad if fight fans get Jones vs. Miocic instead of Jones vs. Ngannou. Remember that Miocic has been out since March 2021, when he was knocked out by Ngannou to lose the UFC heavyweight championship.

After relinquishing his light heavyweight title in May 2020 as a result of a controversial decision victory against Dominick Reyes, Jones, 35, has spent more than two years bulking up in preparation for a fight in the heavyweight category. Although he is regarded as one of the best fighters of all time, "Bones" has also been involved in several scandals outside the ring, including a domestic battery case that arose in late 2021 from an alleged incident in Las Vegas after his induction into the UFC Hall of Fame for his first fight with Alexander Gustafsson.

If everything else fails and Jones is unable to book a spot on the Dec. 10 card, Jiri Prochazka and Glover Teixeira's rematch at light heavyweight will serve as the main event of UFC 282. The two engaged in a Fight of the Year contender back in June at UFC 275, where Prochazka prevailed by last-second submission.


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