On Thursday afternoon, UFC president Dana White said that the organization was targeting an early September date for the UFC light-heavyweight champion’s next title defense, likely on Labor Day weekend.
The UFC currently has no September 1 show on its official schedule, but if and when it gets added, future Hall of Famer Dan Henderson is on deck in the challenger’s role.
Jones (16-1) has so far successfully run the gauntlet of former champions thrown his way, smashing through Mauricio Rua, Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans consecutively. Add in his February 2011 win over Ryan Bader, and he defeated five top 10 opponents in the span of 14 months.
Jones’ manager Malki Kawa recently told MMA Fighting that Jones preferred to take some time off after his recent stretch of activity, and that he was likely to be ready to fight again in August or September.
Meanwhile, Henderson (29-8) hasn’t fought since last November, when he beat Rua in a fight many have called the greatest bout in MMA history. He’s won seven of his last eight.