Jon Jones vacates UFC title, 'It's officially up for grabs,' and looks to heavyweight
Jon Jones has made the decision to officially give up his UFC light heavyweight title.
UFC president Dana White said this past week that the company had been in communication with Jones (25-1 MMA, 20-1 UFC) about his plans for the 205-pound belt after mounting frustration between the two sides in recent months.
Apparently a productive conversation took place Monday, and afterward, Jones, a Union-Endicott graduate, announced that he reached the conclusion to vacate the title.
“Just got off the phone with @ufc, today I confirm that I’m vacating the light heavyweight championship,” Jones wrote on Twitter. “It’s officially up for grabs. It’s been an amazing journey, sincere thank you to all my competition, UFC and most importantly you fans.”
Jones most recently competed at UFC 247 in February when he earned a somewhat controversial decision win over Dominick Reyes. There was talk of a rematch, but then Jones sparked up conversation about a move to heavyweight to fight Francis Ngannou.
That’s what led to the tension between Jones and the UFC brass. He believed he deserved more money to move up a weight class, but White said he wasn’t budging on the issue. Jones would later say he’d step back from fighting unless progress was made.
Following Stipe Miocic’s heavyweight title defense against Daniel Cormier on Saturday, Jones again expressed interest in a move up, this time to challenge the champ.
Heavyweight appears to be Jones’ plan for The future if he can get on the same page as the UFC. According to Jones, some momentum has been made in that direction.
“Just had a really positive conversation with UFC,” Jones wrote. “Sounds like there will be negotiations for my next fight at heavy weight. All good news, the weight gaining process begins.
Jones, 33, is No. 1 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie light heavyweight rankings. His 14 wins in UFC title fights are most in company history.