Latest Jon Jones, Tatiana Suarez comeback, UFC’s UK return in 2023 and more

Before we get into the nitty gritty of what you all showed up for (news), we’d like to re-introduce you to the “Insider’s Scoop.”

Occasionally, when enough notable developments have piled up, our reporters will release news in an easy to digest summary for the MMA Junkie audience.

From battle rumors to event locations and dates to roster departures and more, different tidbits will appear each time “Insider’s Scoop” is released.

So without further ado, here’s the latest edition of ‘Insider’s Scoop’.

Where’s Jon Jones?

HOUSTON, TEXAS – FEBRUARY 08: Jon Jones before his fight against Dominick Reyes in their UFC Light Heavyweight Championship bout at UFC 247 at Toyota Center on February 8, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Believe it or not, [autotag]Jon Jones[/autotag] is ready to go. He’s been done.

The former UFC light heavyweight champion appears to be on good terms with the promotion and proposed terms. So what’s the problem? Well, the struggle to find an opponent is real.

The UFC wanted [autotag]Stipe Miocic[/autotag] vs. Jones and tried for multiple dates, as rumor had it. Unfortunately, negotiations with Miocic have not led to anything substantial. That matchup has essentially gone by the wayside barring resurrection from the dead.

With the injury timeline ahead [autotag]Francis Ngannou[/autotag] still up in the air, it’s unclear who Jones will fight. However, the UFC cannot sit forever without offering Jones a fight. As of very recently, the penciled-in plan has been for him to fight on March 5 at UFC 285 in Las Vegas.

According to sources close to the situation, when Ngannou is ready, that will be the fight. If not, the UFC will have to go to Plan C, Jones vs. someone else. I heard the UFC is having a match too [autotag]Curtis Blaydes[/autotag] as a future safety net, Ngannou should not be ready.

Tatiana Suarez

September 8, 2018; Dallas, Texas, USA; Tatiana Suarez (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Carla Esparza (not pictured) at UFC 228 at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

One of the world’s top strawweights hasn’t even competed in over three years, but that’s about to change. [autotag]Tatiana Suarez[/autotag] is on its way back and is aiming to return to competition in the first quarter of 2023, sources tell MMA Junkie. Undefeated as a professional, Suarez has only competed once since September 2018 due to injuries, but is widely regarded as a likely future title challenger.

UFC in the United Kingdom

July 23, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Claudio Silva (red gloves) and Nicolas Dalby (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the O2 Arena. Required Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

As mentioned before, the UFC will strike while the iron is hot. For the third time in about a year, the UFC is returning to the UK. It sounds like March 18 is the date, with multiple fighters receiving verbal and written offers from the UFC in recent weeks. UFC flyweight Muhammad Mokaev alluded to this date earlier. That would be UFC 286, with UFC 285 expected for Las Vegas on March 4.

Beat Downey

Former NCAA Division I All American [autotag]Beat Downey[/autotag] (1-0) has his next assignment, as he will face [autotag]Christian Echoes[/autotag] (2-2) at Bellator 289, the promotion announced Monday.

That’s the event taking place on December 9 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., headlined by Raufeon Stats vs. Danny Sabatello. Downey was a wrestling star who made his MMA debut in August. He quickly drove through his opponent in 36 seconds.

Another rose

[autotag]Raul Rosas Jr.[/autotag] made an impression when he signed with the UFC earlier this year at the age of 17. His father is a serious martial artist, who serves as his head trainer. But the MMA DNA doesn’t stop there. Rosas’ older brother [autotag]Jessie Roses[/autotag] follows in his footsteps. On Saturday, Jessie, 19, advanced to 2-0.

Back in the books

Last weekend’s UFC Fight Night 215 card was hit with a mega pullback as the main event between Derrick Lewis and Serghei Spivac fell midway through the card. However, it also lost a battle between [autotag]William Knight[/autotag] and [autotag]Marcin Prachnio[/autotag] days before. I was told that Knight vs. Prachnio will be preserved and is now expected to take place on February 18, according to sources.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie

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