It looks like Jon Jones could return to the UFC sometime in mid 2017, but when he does, it doesn’t sound like he’ll be headlining.
Earlier this week it was reported that an arbitration panel has suspended Jones until July next year, as a result of the USADA flag that pulled him from UFC 200. That incident took place approximately one year after Jones’ highly publicized, hit-and-run incident, which forced the UFC to cancel a scheduled bout with Anthony Johnson for UFC 187.
Recently Dana White was a guest on a Sirius XM Town Hall, and while discussing Jones, the UFC President said this (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“I would never take the risk of headlining a show with Jon Jones again,” White said. “I’d put him on the card. But I wouldn’t headline with him until he consistently gets back on track.”
“Millions of dollars are spent on this, and for a card to fall apart — how many cards have fallen apart because Jon Jones gets in trouble for something?” White added. “So no, I’m not at that place with him.”
Wow. Now one could conclude from this that Jones might not return to a title shot right? Or, if he does, then it would have to be on a ridiculously stacked card, where a 205 title fight isn’t the top billing…Or, of course, White could very well change his mind in the coming months.
Speaking of 205 title fights, the champion Daniel Cormier will face Anthony Johnson at UFC 206, December 10th. Will the winner wait out, potentially seven, eight months for the return of Jones?