On Monday, Nolan King of MMA Junkie revealed that the promotion Jones is scheduled to fight on March 5 at UFC 285. in Las Vegas. Who is up in the air, but the UFC’s preferred option is a title shot against champion Francis Ngannou.
Ngannou’s return on this day depends on two things: his recovery after knee surgery earlier this year and UFC contract status. With or without Ngannou, the UFC is set to book Jones for UFC 285 with Gein and Blades as suitable options.
None of them have a problem getting Jones into the division.
“March sounds great for the start of #StrapSeason” Gein tweeted Tuesday. “Ngannou, Jones, Blades, I don’t care: anytime, anywhere.”
“Not sure how legal this is, but if this fight happens, I will be ready for 5 rounds,” Blades wrote. on instagram.
Jones (26-1 MMA, 20-1 UFC), 35, has not competed since February 8, 2020, when he narrowly defeated Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 retain the light heavyweight belt. Shortly thereafter, Jones vacated the 205 lb title and announced his intention to move up to heavyweight. He spent over two years training and building his body to compete with the best fighters in the division.
Gein (11-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC), 32, was the interim heavyweight champion after completion of Derrick Lewis by technical knockout in August 2021. He lost to title unifier Ngannou. by unanimous decision in January of this year, but recovered from knockout in the third round of Tai Tuivas in September.
Blades (17-3 MMA, 12-3 YFC), 31, has a three-fight winning streak with victories over Jarizinho Rozenstruik, Chris Daukaus and most recently, Tom Aspinall was injured by technical knockout in July. He has won seven of his last eight fights and his only loss was a knockout in February 2021 against Lewis.