UFC legend Jon Jones declares he'll be heavyweight champ in 2022 as he continues insane body transformation for comeback

JON JONES has vowed to have the UFC heavyweight title wrapped around his waist by the end of 2022.

The former long-reigning 205lb king is set to make his eagerly-anticipated debut in the division against the winner of next month's heavyweight title unification bout between Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane.



And Jones, who has spent nearly two years on the sidelines beefing up, is confident he'll dethrone the winner of UFC 270's main event.

He wrote on Instagram: "I said I’ll be the champion in 2022, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

"I feel like I’m jumping up three weight classes, going from competing at 205 pounds to 265 pounds is no easy task.

"Nothing great happened overnight, I’m patient and I’m working my ass off every day towards my goals."

Jones, 34, would've fought for the title this year had he opted not to continue putting on size and getting accustomed to his new frame.

His advisor, former boxing promoter Richard Schaefer, recently told SunSport: "When I started to get involved with Jon, we, needed to, sort of, repair the relationship between him and the UFC.

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"And I always had a great relationship with Dana White, he's a friend of mine, and with Hunter Campbell as well.

"So I was able to repair that relationship.

"And I was able to explain to Jon as well that going on Twitter and having these Twitter feuds going back and forth is really not conductive of getting a fight done. He understood that as well.

"He understood and we achieved that.

"And then I made tremendous progress in having the UFC agree to allow Jon to fight in his next fight to fight for the UFC heavyweight championship.

"We were initially targeting November, December."

Schaefer added: "Jon is sort of like the guy behind me here [points to a picture], Bernard Hopkins, very structured in his preparations.

"So he felt just felt that he needed a little bit more time to really gain the right muscle mass.

"He's like 260, now, and he wanted to move up to 275lbs.

"Not just gain weight, but gain weight in a smart way and still be explosive.

"So he needed a little bit more time.

"The UFC, again, were on board and we were starting to talk of a structure of deal for that big heavyweight fight."

Jones' return to the octagon was in major doubt after he was charged with misdemeanour battery domestic violence and injuring or tampering with a vehicle in September.

The former pound-for-pound king, however, recently reached a deal with prosecutors in Nevada, pleading no contest to the misdemeanour charge of destruction of property worth between £18 and £37.

According to court documents, the MMA veteran was ordered to pay £562 in restitution to his alleged victim and undergo anger-management counselling.

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