“I had to postpone my first title defense against Rashad Evans due to some torn tissues in my thumb,” Jones said in a recent interview. “My last doctor’s appointment they told me I should be able to get back to full out training within the next month. I’m excited about that. I’m expected to compete against Lyoto Machida or Rampage Jackson in maybe October, mid-October.”
Jackson (31-8) will need to beat Matt Hamill in the main event of UFC 130 on Saturday to hope for another shot at the belt, while Machida (17-2) may have earned his chance with a front-kick KO of hall of famer Randy Couture in April to snap a two-fight skid.
After claiming the title from Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in March on just six-weeks rest, Jones (13-1) withdrew from an August grudge match with former teammate Rashad Evans only to scrap a planned surgery and return later this year after rehabbing the injury.
Evans now faces Phil Davis in the main event of UFC 133 on Aug. 6, with the winner possibly earning the next title shot.
The UFC’s October schedule includes UFC 136 on Oct. 8 in Houston and UFC 137 on Oct. 15 in Liverpool, England, while the returns of heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez and featherweight champ Jose Aldo are also slated for fall.
Pictured: Jon Jones