Jones returned after three years away to win the vacant UFC heavyweight title in March, submitting Ciryl Gane in the first round. Talks swiftly turned to the American’s next fight, with former champion Miocic named as Jones’s likeliest opponent.
While that bout was expected to take place in July, it is currently set for later in the year. Regardless of when it takes place, Jones, 35, believes it will probably be his last.
“Right now, my goal is to have one more big fight against Stipe Miocic [at] Madison Square Garden and then hang it up from there,” said the former light-heavyweight champion, in an interview with Fox Sports Australia.
“I think the Stipe fight will be plenty for me, I don’t think I’ll have much to prove after beating Stipe Miocic.
“I’ve been in the game a long time [...] fighting for a long time, training for a long time. I’m an old guy, and I just really want to be around for my family, be around for my kids.
“I want to be able to play with my kids, have a good head on my shoulders, have joints that work. So, I can see it coming to an end really soon. And I’m happy with that, I’m really proud of that.”
Jones has long expressed a desire to fight Francis Ngannou, who dethroned Miocic – widely considered the greatest heavyweight in UFC history – in 2021. Ngannou retained the title against Gane in 2022 before leaving the UFC and relinquishing the belt this January.
Ngannou’s next destination is still unclear, but Jones has said he would remain in the UFC to fight the Cameroonian, if he were to return.
“I do believe a Francis fight would be worth entertaining not retiring,” Jones said. “I think a Francis fight would come with some serious revenue, and that would make it worth my while.
“Francis is a former champion and pretty damn popular here in America and across the world. It would bring in a lot of money, and for that I would be willing to come back [...] It would be worth the risk, worth the money, all of it.”
Ngannou is widely deemed the greatest power-puncher to have fought in the UFC.
The former champion holds a professional record of 17-3 with 12 knockout wins – eight of them coming in the first round and three within the first minute.
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