Now a former two-time UFC light heavyweight titleholder, Jon ‘Bones’ Jones has explained his decision to vacate the 205-pound throne, ahead of a long-anticipated move to heavyweight waters in the not too distant future.
The Rochester born look-see-do fighter made the decision to step away from his light heavyweight title recently, announcing his intentions to challenge for heavyweight gold. The now-vacant gold is set to be decided on September 26th. in the co-main event of UFC 253 as most recent title challenger, Dominick Reyes battles former KSW titleholder, Jan Błachowicz to bring an end to an extended period of either Jones or Daniel Cormier light heavyweight supremacy.
Taking to his official Twitter account on Thursday night, Jackson-Wink MMA staple, Jones noted his reasons behind his sudden vacation of the light heavyweight title – citing his unwillingness to leave deserving contenders waiting whilst he moves a division higher.
“I vacated the light heavyweight championship because I knew my heavyweight goals were going to take some time. I wasn’t going to play games with the contenders and make people fight interim championship belts. There’s little rest on the throne.”
I vacated the light heavyweight championship because I knew my heavyweight goals were going to take some time. I wasn’t going to play games with the contenders and make people fight interim championship belts. There’s little rest on the throne
— BONY (@JonnyBones) August 28, 2020
Jones, 33, last featured in what was subsequently his final light heavyweight title defence, at UFC 247 in February – narrowly leaving Houston, Texas with his title in tow following a close unanimous decision win opposite the aforenoted, Reyes. The third successful defence of his second reign following an equally tough outing opposite Brazilian Muay Thai ace, Thiago ‘Marreta’ Santos at UFC 239 last July – where Jones took a split judging retention.
While Jones prepares a rigorous strength and conditioning programme ahead of his long-awaited move to heavyweight, UFC president, Dana White has outlined how he’ll tackle for heavyweight spoils upon his division debut – but not before streaking knockout ace, Francis ‘The Predator’ Ngannou gets his second crack at current titleholder, Stipe Miocic.
Jones and the UFC were involved in a public negotiation spat earlier this summer, with Jones, according to the previously mentioned, White asking for “Deontay Wilder money” – upwards of $25 million if he were to climb to heavyweight and meet with Cameroonian number-one contender, Ngannou, in a heralded ‘superfight’. With Miocic and Ngannou tentatively expected to run back their January 2018 meeting, Jones may very well lay in wait for the victor.