Jon Jones is no longer UFC light heavyweight champion. Former two-time titleholder “officially” relinquished his belt, following the initial announcement made in June. Nevertheless “Bones” is yet to be done with fighting, and is looking to be back inside the Octagon and compete at heavyweight.
“Just got off the phone with UFC, today I confirm that I’m vacating the light heavyweight championship,” Jon Jones posted on Twitter on Tuesday. “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.”
The story kicked off a few weeks back when several fighters, including Jones, were vocal, alleging they were being underpaid. For “Bones” it all started when he apparently asked for more money ($30 million US (approx. $41.5 million AUD) as per Dana White) to fight Francis Ngannou at 265. The parties didn’t come to an agreement.
In the following tweet Jones advised that there was still the same money on the table (as understood as in his original contract with the UFC). Thus, he will be sidelined until things change.
“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 as a fan and doing my best to take care of my family and community.”
Jones continued posting that he was going to still train and remain in the testing pool. Further he revealed he had had another conversation with the UFC and the things started to move forward.
“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.”
“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.”
Early August Dana White said that UFC was “not as of yet” stripping Jon Jones off the belt.
Widely considered as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time, Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) last fought this past February when he scored a unanimous decision against Dominick Reyes. The only defeat on his fight record goes back to December 2009 when he was disqualified due to illegal downward elbow strikes in a fight against Matt Hamill, which many believe was not the right decision made by the referee.