The future of McGregor, Jones, Diaz, more

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Conor McGregor and Jon Jones

There are MANY in different ways, but 2022 could be another tough year for two of the UFC’s biggest names, faces and stars for the majority of the past decade.

We’ll start with McGregor, who is still recovering from the broken leg he suffered in his trilogy loss to Poirier at UFC 264. We don’t know exactly when “The Notorious” will be ready to fight again, but comments from the Irishman, his trainer John Kavanagh and UFC boss White, suggest summer is the perfect time. Will it be the start of summer, like May or June? Or will it be the end of summer, like August? Either way, the broad schedule means McGregor could only fight once in 2022, and that’s assuming nothing happens outside of the cage that could potentially prevent his availability.

There will be a ton of competition for McGregor, because if that doesn’t go his way, it means the former two-division UFC champion could consider another calendar year without a win. We don’t know who McGregor will fight against on his return from injury, but with the amount of money he’s commanding from the UFC, you can be sure it won’t be a warm-up fight.

Much of what just explained above also applies to Jon Jones. His current storyline is very different from McGregor in that his hiatus from the competition is more self-imposed than anything else. We’re quickly approaching two years since Jones last stepped into the Octagon for a fight, and with the unpredictable nature of the former longtime UFC light heavyweight champion, can we be sure? that another calendar year will not pass without seeing him fight?

And even though Jones does compete, he potentially contemplates the toughest fights of his career. In a Perfect World, he resolves his contract dispute with the UFC, puts an end to any personal issues that could further damage his career, and challenges the winner of the UFC 270 heavyweight title unification fight between Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane on January 22. If all of this materializes, are there any guarantees Jones will even beat Ngannou or Gane? These are two extremely difficult clashes for him, and not ideal scenarios after such a long hiatus.

It doesn’t seem at all impossible that a combination or one of the two McGregor and Jones won’t fight in 2022, and if they do, the results aren’t going their way.

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