Jones tore his pectoral muscle in October, two weeks before his planned heavyweight title defence against Stipe Miocic. As a result, the bout was cancelled, and Tom Aspinall went on to knock out Sergei Pavlovich to become interim champion.
Jones, a former two-time light-heavyweight champion, is expected to be out for a year – dating back to the time at which he suffered the injury – but he was offered the chance to main event UFC 300, in case his recovery was ahead of schedule.
The American’s planned bout with Miocic, the consensus greatest heavyweight in UFC history, is set to be rescheduled for later this year, potentially leaving Aspinall out in the cold. The Briton, 30, and Jones, 36, have gone back and forth on social media in recent weeks, and the latter has now provided an update on his recovery.
Jones recently had surgery on his injured pec as well as his elbow, and wrote on X: “I feel amazing, about to get my stitches removed from my elbow surgery ... the doctor said that I had a bunch of bone chips and bone spurs that have grown only in my left arm. He blames it on elbowing skulls for so long.
“[The pec is] progressing in an amazing way. I have great mobility, not that [it’s at] full strength yet. Honestly, the elbow has been more painful, lots of nerves in there. [But] I’m healing quickly.
Addressing UFC 300, Jones replied to a fan: “I was actually called and offered to fight on the event. The guys said they just wanted to give me the option. We both knew I wouldn’t be ready.”
Jones last fought in March, returning to the UFC after a three-year absence and winning the vacant heavyweight title. “Bones” submitted Ciryl Gane to win the belt, which was relinquished by Francis Ngannou when the Cameroonian left the UFC in January 2023.
It’s progressing in an amazing way. I have great mobility, not that’s a full strength yet. Honestly, the elbow has been more painful, lots of nerves in there. I’m healing quickly. https://t.co/SwokDaU5Ol
— BONY (@JonnyBones) January 18, 2024
Miocic, 41, last fought in March 2021, when he lost the title to Ngannou via knockout. That result marked the end of the American’s second reign as champion; in his first, he outpointed Ngannou in one of several successful title defences.
UFC 300 is still without a main event, though a number of bouts have been announced for the historic card. This week, it was revealed that Justin Gaethje will defend his ‘Baddest Motherf*****’ title against Max Holloway.
Strawweight champion Zhang Weili will also be in action at UFC 300, defending her belt against fellow Chinese fighter Yan Xiaonan.
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