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Despite UFC 149 Rumors, Jon Jones' Return Unlikely Until August or September

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US Presswire
US Presswire

In the immediate aftermath of Jon Jones' recent win over Rashad Evans, we quickly learned that his next title defense would come against decorated veteran Dan Henderson. While no timetable was cemented for the bout, UFC president Dana White said that the upcoming UFC 149 event in Calgary could be a possibility.

One week later, though, we can rule out the July 21 event.

Jones' manager Malki Kawa told MMA Fighting on Monday that the UFC light-heavyweight champion would not be available for the show, which is scheduled exactly three months to the day after Jones' five-round unanimous decision win over Rashad Evans at UFC 145.

"He will not be fighting in July," Kawa said. "It's just probably a little too soon. There's been no timetable yet but July probably isn't going to happen."

An August or September return is much more likely. Judging from the schedule, September seems like a more logical fit, since August's 11 UFC 150 card will probably host the lightweight title rematch between Ben Henderson and Frank Edgar. The UFC rarely puts two championship fights on one card.

Meanwhile, a September 22 show has already been announced for Toronto's Air Canada Centre. That event has no announced or rumored fights.

Jones has kept a busy schedule since the start of 2011 He's fought five top 10 contenders in the last 14 months, beating all of them, including four by stoppage.

Kawa said that Jones intends to fight three times in 2012, but for now, the grinding schedule has understandably caused him to take a bit of a breather before preparing for Henderson, who may turn 42 before the fight takes place. His birthday is on August 24.

"Jon's going to take a little time to himself, and then he'll get back into it," Kawa said.