UFC Hall-of-Famer Jon Jones has revealed he’s just ‘a few months away’ from returning to the octagon.
The former long-reigning light-heavyweight champion hasn’t set foot inside the cage since his controversial UFC 247 title defence against Dominick Reyes.
Jones, 34, has been using his time out – which has in part been down to a pay dispute with the UFC – to put on size ahead of his eagerly-anticipated move up to heavyweight.
And after nearly two years on the sidelines, he feels primed and ready to mix it with the UFC’s big boys.
He tweeted: “I’m just a few months away now, can’t wait to see who wins this fight in January.”
After parting ways with his management team of 11 years in April, former pound-for-pound king Jones has enlisted the services of veteran boxing promoter Richard Schaefer to help negotiate a blockbuster payday.
And Schaefer recently revealed to SunSport he agreed a deal for Bones to fight for the heavyweight title before he opted to continue bulking up.
The former Golden Boy Promotions CEO told SunSport: “When I started to get involved with Jon, we, needed to, sort of, repair the relationship between him and the UFC.
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“And I always had a great relationship with Dana White, he’s a friend of mine, and with Hunter Campbell as well. So I was able to repair that relationship.
“And I was able to explain to Jon as well that going on Twitter and having these Twitter feuds going back and forth is really not conducive to getting a fight done. He understood that as well.
“He understood and we achieved that.
“And then I made tremendous progress in having the UFC agree to allow Jon to fight in his next fight to fight for the UFC heavyweight championship.
“We were initially targeting November, December.
“But Jon is sort of like the guy behind me here [points to a picture], Bernard Hopkins, very structured in his preparations.
“So he felt just felt that he needed a little bit more time to really gain the right muscle mass.
“He’s like 260, now, and he wanted to move up to 275lbs.
“Not just gain weight, but gain weight in a smart way and still be explosive. So he needed a little bit more time.
“The UFC, again, were on board and we were starting to talk of a structure of deal for that big heavyweight fight.”
Jones’ future inside the octagon is in major doubt following his September arrest in Las Vegas.
Jones was arrested by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and charged with misdemeanour battery domestic violence and injuring or tampering with a vehicle just hours after being inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.
Schaefer was shocked by the New York native’s latest brush with the law, telling SunSport: “Everything was really going very well. When he arrived in Vegas, everything was fine.
“I think when you look at the videos, the night of the hall-of-fame induction, he was great.
“So everything was going great. And then, the next day when I wake up, I wake up to this news and I was of course shocked.
“Jon is one of the most genuine and nicest people I have ever met. So yeah, I was, of course, shocked.
“And now we just need to see how this whole thing is going to play out legally before really making a rush to judgement.
“And I think the UFC is taking that same stance. I saw an interview with Dana [White] yesterday and he agrees with me in that we just have to see in how this whole thing plays out.
“And then we can make our opinions and we can do like – we just need to see.”
“I can’t really, from a legal point of view, of course as you can imagine, talk about it.”
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