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UFC legend Jon Jones looked jacked as he took part in a bare-knuckle training session.

The former long-reigning light-heavyweight champion has been on the sidelines for the best part of THREE YEARS in preparation for a long-awaited move up in weight.

4Jon Jones hasn't set foot inside the octagon in nearly three yearsCredit: GETTY 4The former pound-for-pound king has been ramping up his training over the last few monthsCredit: [email protected] 4Jones recently hit pads bare-knuckle with one of his coachesCredit: [email protected] 4Bones' bare knuckle shots thundered against the padsCredit: [email protected]

Jones has been ramping up his training over the last few months - and his new hulking frame looks ready to mix it with the big boys of MMA's top promotion.

The UFC's former pound-for-pound king shared a video clip of himself hitting mitts bare knuckle with one of his coaches on Thursday night.

His accompanying caption read: "Right now I’m exactly where I need to be.

"I’m excited to see myself in a few months when things actually start to ramp up.

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"Feeling sharp across the board."

Jones, 35, looked stacked as he cracked the pads - and his legion of followers were quick to comment on his body transformation.

One said: "Looking like a big big problem."

Another said: "Absolutely AMAZING!! WOW!"

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And another said: "Let’s go, can’t wait to see in the octagon."

One remarked: "Pretty fast for a heavyweight."

Another chimed in: "Gonna need a new nickname, champ. Bones is no longer viable."

Jones hasn't set foot inside the octagon since his controversial and final defence of the light-heavyweight title at UFC 247 in February 2020.

A very public contract dispute with the UFC brass has also played a role in Jones' hiatus from the octagon.

SunSport, however, revealed in January that negotiations between the two parties had resumed.

Bones' advisor Richard Schaefer said: "He is willing, ready and able to fight whoever we can get for the heavyweight title."

And UFC president Dana White recently echoed the former Golden Boy Promotions chief's declaration.

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He said: "Jon Jones is ready to go. We’re just waiting for an opponent.

"It’s either going to be Francis [Ngannou] depending on how long his knee is going to take to recover or Stipe Miocic."

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Kevin Holland Sounds Off on Potential UFC Return After Official Retirement

Getty Kevin Holland prior to facing Tim Means.

Kevin Holland appears content being away from the UFC but admits he could be back for the right opportunity.

Former UFC welterweight Holland is coming off a loss to top-ranked contender Khamzat Chimaev in his last outing at UFC 279. He was originally scheduled to face Daniel Rodriguez in a catchweight bout at 180 pounds. However, Chimaev came in a massive seven-and-a-half pounds over the agreed weight limit for his headlining fight with Nate Diaz and needed to get his opponents changed.

Holland stepped up to the task of competing against Chimaev on a day’s notice but failed to get going as ‘Borz’ earned another dominant victory, finishing ‘Trailblazer’ in the first round without taking any significant strikes.

Following the lopsided defeat, Holland announced that he would be hanging up his gloves. There was speculation about the veracity of the unexpected news.

In the first episode of his podcast “Real Eyes Recognize,” Holland confirmed his plans to stay retired. He added the exception that may lure him back to fighting.

“So I’m retired. I’m officially retired,” Holland said via MMA Fighting. “I’m retired from fighting. I had a good fight, good payday, I had a good run. I see some of the people online [saying] ‘obviously he realizes he’ll never get the belt’ and my little psychedelic trip, that means I was wrong. I can’t be wrong on a psychedelic trip. I’ve lost coming out to Young Boy. That was my last hope, never losing coming out to Young Boy. Times are rough for your boy.

“But I’m really, really happy on the green side. Unless something super-duper magical pops up, yeah, I’m pretty happy with the way things are.”

Holland Has No Animosity Towards Chimaev

Holland and Chimaev shared a heated rivalry that goes back to a Sep. 2020 altercation, when Holland allegedly got slapped by ‘Borz’ at the fighter’s host hotel. Holland later disputed those claims and labeled Chimaev a ‘wannabe gangster.’

During the build-up to UFC 279, things escalated at the pre-fight press conference when Chimaev reportedly kicked Holland in the chest backstage, forcing company president Dana White to cancel the presser for the first time in the history of the company.

The two appeared to have settled their differences inside the cage and put their rivalry to bed. Holland was appreciative of Chimaev and even joked about wanting to put up a poster in his bathroom.

“He put me in a very good spot in my life,” Holland said about Chimaev. “We love that guy. I’m actually thinking about getting a poster of that guy hung up in my bathroom.”

Holland Hit Back at Brendan Schaub

Former UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub claimed that the promotion planned the reshuffle of opponents due to low pay-per-view sales. While Holland did not take issue with his theory, he challenged Schaub to spar for some of his previous comments.

“Brendan Schaub, he’s always saying weird stuff,” Holland said. “He said something that I thought was weird and I thought it was Schaub’s page but I guess it’s his people. I message him ‘what’s up with what you said?’ and they were like this is not Schaub and I felt kind of dumb.

“We’ve got to get some boxing rounds in for some of the fly stuff he was saying. No MMA. He might take me down and I don’t have time for that s***. That’s why I retired, I don’t want to wrestle anymore.. I think he’s down [to box]. He’s not a p**** unless he’s a p**** and then he wouldn’t be down. For sure, boxing, me, Schaub, weight doesn’t even matter in that situation.”

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