UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was hoping for a summer return to defend his title, but the injured toe he suffered in his last fight will likely push him back until at least October.
Jones suffered a gruesome toe injury during his UFC 159 bout against Chael Sonnen, but once the doctors looked over everything, it only ended up being a dislocation.
Still, the toe had to heal over time, and while the champion was pushing for an earlier return date, his doctors slowed that down and asked Jones to continue his recovery before fighting again.
According to a report on UFC Tonight on Tuesday, Jones' camp revealed that while he was hoping to come back earlier, an October date is much more realistic.
Many rumors had swirled that Jones could have possibly filled a slot on one of the upcoming major fight cards as early as August, but as more and more main events were announced, his name was nowhere among them.
Now the revelation has been made that Jones' toe just was not quite healed enough to push him back into a training camp for a summer fight.
With October as his targeted timeline for a return, Jones is still seeking a fight against current UFC light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson when he gets back in the Octagon.
Jones and Gustafsson have both called for the fight to happen and continue to banter on Twitter, trying to get their bout to become official with the 205-pound title on the line.
Jones has made it clear that he wants his next fight at light heavyweight regardless of the opponent because with a win he would officially break the title defense record in the division currently held by both Tito Ortiz and himself.
The record currently stands at five title defenses in a row, and if Jones wins his next fight, that would mark six wins for him already.
If Jones can accomplish that goal by fighting Gustafsson, then he may start entertaining other ideas, like superfights against notable names like UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva or a potential move to heavyweight.
Either way, for right now, Jones seems dead set on facing Gustafsson next, but it won't be before his toe heals completely first.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.
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