Breaking news can come from anywhere, but this one comes from perhaps the most unusual source ever. A video board above T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, where UFC 285 will be held on March 4, was promoting a fight between former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and former interim heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane. The board was displaying the UFC ad prior to a Vegas Golden Knights’ NHL game against the Edomonton Oilers on Saturday.
This has not been confirmed by the UFC, but Jones appeared to confirm it in an interview with Michael Wonsover on former UFC champion Henry Cejudo’s site.
Jones said on the video he was in Scottsdale, Arizona, to watch his daughter in a volleyball tournament and took the opportunity to train for four days at Cejudo’s Fight Ready MMA gym. Asked if he’d like to be coached by Cejudo, Jones seemingly confirmed the bout with Gane.
“Absolutely, I’d love to have Henry coaching me for this Ciryl Gane fight,” Jones said. “Hopefully our schedules can align and we can get on the same page.”
UFC officials were not returning messages and Jones could not be reached.
What is unclear, though, is the status of heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, who defeated Gane last year at UFC 270 in Anaheim, California, for the undisputed championship.
Ngannou has been recovering from surgery to repair a knee injury he suffered in the Gane fight, but he’s also been in a contract dispute with the UFC.
The banner on T-Mobile refers to the Jones-Gane fight as for the “world heavyweight championship,” and there is no reference to interim. The UFC doesn’t usually make that kind of a mistake and leave out a word, so it seems certain that the Jones-Gane fight, if it occurs, will be for the full title.
Jones, who is considered by many as the greatest MMA fighter of all time, hasn’t fought since defeating Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 on Feb. 8, 2000, in Houston. Jones, who first won the light heavyweight title in 2011, has spoken of his desire to win a heavyweight title as long ago as 2013.