Jon Jones is set to return to the UFC octagon after a three-year hiatus at UFC 285. ‘Bones’ will face off against the No.1 contender Ciryl Gane for the vacant heavyweight championship vacated by Francis Ngannou.
UFC president Dana White spoke at the UFC Fight Night: Krylov vs. Spann post-fight press conference and addressed the UFC 285 main event. He revealed that the promotion always has a backup fighter ready to step in for events of similar magnitude. However, White refused to divulge the name of the heavyweight on standby for Jones vs. Gane.
“Is there a backup fighter for the main event? Yes, we always have backups for those kind of fights. [Can you reveal who that is?] I’m not gonna- I’m not gonna say it, but yeah, we got a backup.”
Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane have a solid track record when it comes to making weight and their availability for their fights. ‘Bones’ has never missed weight in his career and his French opponent holds the same distinction so far in his career.
Check out Dana White’s full comments in the post-fight press conference on YouTube:
Jon Jones shows sincere gratitude to Henry Cejudo and his team in his final training session before UFC 285
Jon Jones’ extended layoff from action was preceded by a relatively controversial win against Dominick Reyes in 2020 at UFC 247.
The former light heavyweight champion vacated his title and exited the UFC soon after on the grounds of a pay dispute with president Dana White. However, he has continued to train and gear up for his move up to the heavyweight division.
Interestingly, Jones found support in Henry Cejudo and his coach Eric Albarracin and has extensively trained with their team in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
During his final training session a week away from his heavyweight debut, Jones thanked the team:
“I want to say thank you to you guys for opening the doors to get me fight ready. I had a little time where obviously my team stuck with me but I had a little time where I was in a limbo and it wasn’t cool to be associated with me. You guys were some of the first people to open the door and let me know that I always had a home in Arizona. And sincerely, that means a lot to me, I’ll never forget it. I want to say thank you guys so much for that. Let’s get to work, gentlemen!”
Check out Jon Jones’ message to Henry Cejudo: