It’s mixed martial arts and it’s the UFC, so take everything with a grain of salt and realize it could all change tomorrow, but the biggest star in the sport says he’s vacating his championship.
Jon “Bones” Jones, the light heavyweight champion with the 26-1 career record and the #1 in the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings, says on Twitter he’s abandoned his belt.
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.— BONY (@JonnyBones) August 17, 2020
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 https://t.co/NoTTpRTMH0— BONY (@JonnyBones) August 17, 2020
Jones hasn’t fought since defeating Dominick Reyes in February in a controversial decision in Houston. In what might not be a coincidence, Reyes signed a contract extension with unknown terms with the UFC yesterday.
Jones was looking for a “super-fight” with heavyweight Francis Ngannou, and said he was asking for “Deontay Wilder money”, referring to what the heavyweight boxer got for his bout with Tyson Fury. That number was in the range of $25-30 million, and it appears he couldn’t come to a deal with UFC President Dana White to continue in the octagon.
So we’ll see what happens here and if this for real or not, but for now it looks like Reyes will fight someone for the vacated belt, and that’s likely one of the top-four contenders at 205 lbs: #2 Thiago Santos, #3 Jan Blachowicz, or #4 Glover Teixeira.