In an interview with TMZ, UFC president Dana White said that Jon Jones is next in line for a heavyweight title shot.
White said that Jones wants the winner of the upcoming Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou rematch and “he’s gonna get it.” Jones declared he was moving up to heavyweight after vacating the light heavyweight title last year following three successful title defenses in his second reign with the belt.
Miocic is set to defend the title against Ngannou at March 27th’s UFC 260. White said if that fight goes off as planned, the Jones fight could happen this summer. Despite extended periods of time off due to USADA violations, the 33-year-old has only been defeated once in 28 fights with that one loss a controversial one to Matt Hamill relatively early in his UFC run. He was last seen in action edging out Dominick Reyes in February of last year.
Some other notes from the TMZ interview and another he did with ESPN:
A trilogy fight between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor “makes sense.” He said both guys wants the rematch but it won’t be for the title.
A May-July return for McGregor is realistic.
White said they aren’t doing an official tournament but said all the lightweights (ranked 1-7) are going to end up fighting each other with McGregor in that mix. They will get down to the top two guys and have them fight for the belt.
White is talking to lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov soon in Las Vegas and is still holding out hope he will fight again. He said he truly believes he will return to fight whoever emerges from the lightweight mix.
He’s unsure if Israel Adesanya will return quickly to middleweight after his March champion vs. champion fight against light heavyweight titleholder Jan Blachowicz.
He said he’s 99.9% sure they will do women’s strawweight champion Zhang Weili vs. Rose Namajunas in Asia and are working on that.
Even though videos have surfaced of Georges St. Pierre training, White said he doesn’t see an Octagon return in his future.
Nick Diaz is indeed interested in fighting again.
White said they will be announcing news people want to hear with Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington and a possible coaching stint on TUF.
White promised some big “game changing, next level” announcements and moves this summer.