Major Update Regarding Jon Jones And The UFC Light Heavyweight Title

An end of an era is upon us in the UFC’s light heavyweight division.

Jon Jones, the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, announced his intentions to relinquish the title. This would be the first time Jones’ name wasn’t associated with the title since 2011.

“Just got off the phone with @ufc, today I confirm that I’m vacating the light heavyweight championship. 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.”

Making his debut with the UFC in 2008, Jones (26-1, 1 NC) beat Mauricio Rua at UFC 128 to win the title. He defended the belt a total of 11 times. He was also stripped of it three times following legal issues as well as failing several drug tests. Throughout his run in the division, Jones has beaten the likes of Chael Sonnen, Rashad Evans, Daniel Cormier, Alexander Gustafsson, Thiago Santos, and Dominick Reyes.

Jones last fought Reyes at UFC 247, beating him via unanimous decision. He is currently in a battle with the UFC and Dana White over pay. This came after Jones attempted to talk with the UFC about a potential “big money fight” featuring him v. heavyweight Francis Ngannou. Talks fell through, and Jones believes the UFC hasn’t been paying him what he felt he was worth. As a result of his frustrations, Jones expressed a desire to vacate the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.

There were rumors of him joining the heavyweight division to face the winner of Stipe Miocic v. Cormier from UFC 252. Miocic won the trilogy fight via unanimous decision. Jones discussed the heavyweight division and more in another series of tweets.

“The last I spoke with @UFC about my salary there was no negotiating. If that ever changes, i’d love to come back and compete again as a heavyweight. Until then, I’ll be enjoying Ufc has a fan and doing my best to take care of my family and community.

“In good faith I will be staying in the testing pool for probably the next half year or so. I’ll continue to lift weights and train all the different martial arts”

It is unknown when Jones would be competing again, if he were to indeed get a heavyweight title shot. If he were to exit but re-enter the USADA testing pool, he would have to wait six months to fight anyone.

As far as the UFC’s Light Heavyweight Title is concerned, White stated that a title fight will happen this year. He also said that Dominick Reyes would most likely be next in line. Reyes is currently scheduled to face off against Jan Blachowicz at UFC 253 in September. If the recent news is any indication, the two top contenders may be fighting for the title.

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