Jon Jones hints at return date for UFC 198 on April 23 in New York
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is anxious to get back in the Octagon to reclaim the title he never actually lost, and he hinted in a recent Instagram post that UFC 198 on April 23 is the landing spot.
"Started power lifting June 1, 2015. In just about seven months of turning four days a week, my body has made a complete transformation," Jones wrote on his Instagram post. "Five more months to prepare for this win. I’ll be sure to be at my best April 23."
That’s the date of UFC 198, which is scheduled to take place at Madison Square Garden if the UFC is able to get sanctioned in New York in time. If New York still hasn’t sanctioned mixed martial arts by next spring, the date will stay the same but the show will shift to a new location.
April 23 has long been rumored for Jones’ return to action, but current champion Daniel Cormier has stated numerous times that the one place he doesn’t want a rematch with Jones to happen is in New York. Jones is from New York and likely would enjoy a lot of hometown support.
UFC officials still haven’t made any announcement regarding Jones’ return, but with the 2016 schedule beginning to come together, the fight could be announced at any time.
Jones hasn’t fought since January when he defeated Cormier by unanimous decision, and in April he was indefinitely suspended following a hit-and-run accident that cost him the light heavyweight title after the UFC stripped him of the belt.
Since that time, Jones has been publicly committed to cleaning up his act while focusing on training and getting better. The result with his new power-lifting program has seen Jones transform from a solid offseason athlete to a physical specimen as he prepares for his return to action in 2016.