Jon Jones is likely to return at UFC 135. | Photo: Sherdog.com
Jon Jones will likely put his light heavyweight title on the line against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson on Sept. 24 at UFC 135 in Denver.
UFC President Dana White announced the news on Thursday, confirming the event's date and location as well as the potential headliner. However, White also noted that the probable main event is not quite yet a done deal, as Jones will need to receive an OK from his doctor before he can be cleared to fight.
Forced to withdraw from a planned UFC 133 clash with Rashad Evans, Jones elected to rehab a damaged ligament in his thumb rather than undergo surgery. Pending medical clearance from his physician, “Bones” should defend his title against Jackson on Sept. 24 at the Pepsi Center.
Though in recent years the UFC has twice visited nearby Broomfield, Colo., the promotion has not held an event in the city of Denver since 1995. Also expected to materialize on the card is a welterweight scrap between “The Ultimate Fighter 1” winner Diego Sanchez and UFC hall of famer Matt Hughes.
Jones has yet to be tested in his UFC career, with the lone blemish on his record coming as a result of an inadvertent disqualification in a fight he was dominating against Matt Hamill in 2009. Recently, the 23-year-old captured the promotion's light heavyweight title by running through former Pride Fighting Championships star Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 128.
Jackson, 32, has won four of his last five. After knocking out Wanderlei Silva and outpointing Keith Jardine, “Rampage” took nearly a year away from the cage to star in a film adaptation of “The A-Team.” When he returned to action, he was bested by “Ultimate Fighter” nemesis Evans, but rebounded by posting back-to-back wins over Lyoto Machida and Hamill at UFC 123 and 130, respectively.