Jon Jones arrives for his light heavyweight title bout against...

Jon Jones arrives for his light heavyweight title bout against Rashad Evans for UFC 145 at Philips Arena on April 21, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  Credit: Getty Images/Kevin C. Cox

UFC 285 marks the return of Jon Jones, considered by many as the greatest mixed martial arts fighter in the sport's history, after a three-year absence.

It also represents the 16th consecutive championship bout for Jon Jones, believed to be the longest in UFC history. But he moves up a weight class for this one as he'll challenge Ciryl Gane for the vacant heavyweight title on March 4, 2023, in Las Vegas.

Here is a look back at how Jones won the UFC light heavyweight title, defended it, lost it, won it, lost it, won it, defended it and vacated it.

UFC 128 VS. MAURICIO "SHOGUN" RUA

March 19, 2011, in Newark, N.J.

Several hours after thwarting a purse snatcher in nearby Paterson, N.J., Jon Jones hit Rua seemingly at will with knees, punches, elbows and leg kicks until Rua finally fell to the canvas in the third round. Jones became the new champion.

UFC 135 VS. QUINTON "RAMPAGE" JACKSON

Sept. 24, 2011, in Denver

In his first title defense, Jon Jones submitted Rampage with a rear naked choke in the fourth round. It was his third submission as a UFC fighter, the first by rear naked choke.

UFC 140 VS. LYOTO MACHIDA

Dec. 10, 2011, in Toronto

Machida was the first fighter to really connect with a strike that wobbled Jon Jones, but the champion regained his composure quickly and submitted Machida with a standing guillotine in the second round.

UFC 145 VS. RASHAD EVANS

April 21, 2012, in Atlanta, Ga.

The narrative for this fight centered on Jon Jones and Evans being former teammates and close friends. Jones had no problem in defeating his former mentor, winning by unanimous decision.

UFC 152 VS. VITOR BELFORT

Sept. 22, 2012, in Toronto

Jon Jones’ public image took a hit when UFC 151 was canceled after he declined to accept a fight against Chael Sonnen on 10 days’ notice after Dan Henderson pulled out with a knee injury. Jones was seconds away from being submitted by a Belfort arm bar in the first round, but he fought it off and won by submission (Americana) in the fourth round.

UFC 159 VS. CHAEL SONNEN

 

Jon Jones fought Chael Sonnen at UFC 159 at the...

Jon Jones fought Chael Sonnen at UFC 159 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on April 27, 2013. Credit: Newsday/Mario Gonzalez

 

April 27, 2013, in Newark, N.J.

Jon Jones tied Tito Ortiz’s UFC record with a fifth straight title defense when he beat Chael Sonnen by TKO in the first round. Jones was 27 seconds away from losing the bout by injury. He dislocated his toe earlier in the round but didn’t notice until it was pointed out during his post-fight interview.

UFC 165 VS. ALEXANDER GUSTAFSSON

Sept. 21, 2013, in Toronto

Jon Jones' 10th straight and new UFC division record sixth straight title defense was his toughest, closest, most controversial and considered among the best fights in MMA history. Judges unanimously gave Jones the win, scoring it 48-47, 48-47, 49-46.

UFC 172 VS. GLOVER TEIXEIRA

April 26, 2014, in Baltimore

Jones put on another classic performance and pitched a shutout against Teixeira for his seventh consecutive title defense. Jones fought most of the fight with his left hand and most of the fight in close range, negating his own nine-inch reach and beating Teixeira where he's strongest.

UFC 182 VS. DANIEL CORMIER

Jan. 3, 2015, in Las Vegas Jon Jones made his eighth consecutive title defense by out-grinding Daniel Cormier for the unanimous decision. Jones was able to take down Cormier, a two-time former U.S. Olympic wrestler, multiple times. In the fourth and fifth rounds, Jones asserted his dominance and controlled Cormier to the point where he could barely mount any offense.

JON JONES STRIPPED OF TITLE

April 28, 2015

Jones was arrested on April 27 in connection with a hit-and-run crash in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a day earlier morning and faces a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving death or personal injuries. The next day, the UFC suspended Jones indefinitely and stripped him of his title.

UFC 197 VS. OVINCE SAINT PREUX

April 23, 2016

In his first fight back from suspension, Jones won a unanimous decision over Saint Preux to become the interim light heavyweight champion. Jones originally was scheduled to fight Daniel Cormier, but he pulled out of the fight with an injury a few weeks earlier.

UFC 214 VS. DANIEL CORMIER 2

July 29, 2017, in Anaheim, Calif.

Jon Jones knocked out Daniel Cormier in the third round to reclaim his light heavyweight title at UFC 214. Jones landed a vicious head kick and followed up with ground and pound to finish Cormier. A few weeks later, Jones was flagged for a potential anti-doping policy violation by USADA for a sample collected right after the weigh-ins. Jones was suspended then reinstated a little more than a year later. It was the third time Jones had been stripped of a UFC title.

UFC 232 VS. ALEXANDER GUSTAFSSON 2

Dec. 29, 2018

Just six days after the UFC moved the card from Las Vegas to Los Angeles because of licensing issues with Jones, he dismantled Gustafsson within three rounds, pounding out the Swede.

UFC 235 VS. ANTHONY SMITH

March 2, 2019

A two-point deduction for an illegal knee to Smith's head in the fourth round didn't stop Jones from a dominant one-sided victory. He still pitched a shutout, winning the bout, 48-44, on all three judges' cards.

UFC 239 VS. THIAGO SANTOS

 

Jon Jones after his light heavyweight title bout with Thiago...

Jon Jones after his light heavyweight title bout with Thiago Santos at UFC 239 at T-Mobile Arena on July 06, 2019 in Las Vegas. Credit: Getty Images/Sean M. Haffey

 

July 6, 2019

Thiago Santos did something no one in the UFC had ever done: win a fight on a judge's card against Jon Jones. The only problem for Santos? Jones won on two judges' cards, giving him the split decision win in what was considered a cautious and tactical fight for Jones. "He implemented a game plan I think a lot of people have wanted to for a very long time," Jones said after the fight. "He did a good job. He exploited a hole in my game that won't be there next time."

UFC 247: JON JONES VS. DOMINICK REYES

Feb. 8, 2020

In perhaps the toughest fight he faced in a long time, Jones emerged with a unanimous decision. A debatable result to many after the fight, but not for the judges. They scored it 48-47, 48-47, 49-46 for Jones. “I wasn’t always confident that I was winning the fight,” Jones said. 

JON JONES VACATES UFC TITLE

Aug. 17, 2020

After ruling the 205-pound division for nearly a decade, Jones vacated the light heavyweight title and said he would move up to the heavyweight division for a new challenge. "It's officially up for grabs," Jones wrote on social media at the time about his UFC light heavyweight title. "It's been an amazing journey, sincere thank you to all my competition, Ufc and most importantly you fans."

UFC 285: JON JONES VS. CIRYL GANE

March 4, 2023

Jon Jones returns to the octagon after three years to challenge Ciryl Gane for the vacant heavyweight title.

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