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Jones bummed to miss out on fights with Ngannou, Miocic

Chris Unger / UFC / Getty

Jon Jones said Tuesday he's "honored" to fight Ciryl Gane in his return to MMA action but admitted he was hoping to face Francis Ngannou or Stipe Miocic.

Ngannou and the UFC are parting ways after failing to come to terms on a new contract. The UFC stripped Ngannou of the heavyweight belt, leaving Jones and Gane to fight for it at UFC 285 in March.

When asked if the fight not being against Ngannou takes anything away from his return, Jones told MMA Underground's John Morgan, "It does, it does. I feel like Francis is the more intimidating of the two ... and obviously Francis has the belt, so taking it from him would've been nice."

Miocic, meanwhile, has a 20-4 record, most recently losing to Ngannou by knockout at UFC 260 in March 2021.

Jones said that a fight with Miocic was discussed, but the former champion couldn't reach an agreement with the UFC. This is contrary to Dana White's comments that a fight between Jones and Miocic was never on the table.

Jones mentioned that Miocic would've been the fight that meant the most to him, and called him the "greatest heavyweight of all time" before emphasizing that he isn't looking past Gane.

Jones is making his return to the Octagon after a three-year hiatus. The 35-year-old previously fought in the light heavyweight division where he amassed a 26-1 record and defended the title 11 times. The former light heavyweight champion said he felt heavyweight-ready about four months ago.

Jones also guaranteed fans at least two more fights from him before retiring. He signed a new eight-fight contract with the UFC ahead of his return, all but ensuring he'll finish his career with the promotion.

Jones bummed to miss out on fights with Ngannou, Miocic
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