In what can be deemed a stunning, but at the same time not surprising announcement UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones announced today it via Twitter that he has officially vacated the UFC light heavyweight championship of the world effective immediately! (statement below)
- “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. 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”.
At 1st glance, you would think this is all about the money, and it possibly is. He did allude to wanting to fight at heavyweight if the UFC was willing to renegotiate his contract. However, I think there’s more to it than just the straight dollars and sense of it all.
Jones is an athlete that truly needs a challenge! Let’s be honest, there isn’t really a challenge ahead of him at light heavyweight anymore. A division he has dominated for nearly a decade, but the talent pool behind him right now even with some young stars like Dominick Reyes, who gave him a great fight, isn’t knocking down doors to let the world know that they are coming for Jones. There just isn’t that breakthrough athlete in the ranks that in reality could take the belt from Jones at this point, at least in this reporter’s opinion.
The big question now is will the UFC renegotiate his contract, sign him as a heavyweight, and then immediately book him for a heavyweight championship fight against the reigning champ Stipe Miocic? On Saturday night when that question was asked of UFC president Dana White about Jones leapfrogging everybody to get a shot, he said that’s not going to happen and that Francis Ngannou was next.
With today’s announcement by Jones, and even with the comment regarding the next heavyweight championship title fight contender by White, there is definitely more than a possibility of Jones jumping the line.
Jones is not just the greatest light heavyweight ever, but in many people’s eyes the greatest fighter of all time, is still just 33 years old and has plenty of fight left in him, and I’m sure that this past February was not the last time that we will see Jones compete inside the octagon!
Jon Jones UFC Heavyweight Champion has a nice ring to it.
Christopher James has been in the MMA industry for 15 years, Working as a ring announcer for promotions like the XFC, Island Fights, Combat Night and Fight Nights Global during his career. Chris’ love for the sport and the athletes that partake in it led him to writing and doing face to face interviews with the athletes he admired and respected. Chris isn’t conventional by any stretch of the imagination, he has his own style, and takes pride in not being a “cookie-cutter” member of the media. Unique and sometimes controversial takes are what he brings to the table, forcing folks to think a little differently about the world of MMA. He also has a love for music as he has been a dj for 25 years and his love for music gets brought to the MMA world when he gets his guests to sing on his weekly show Cage Side with Christopher James which can be seen Wednesday nights on FACEBOOK LIVE, and soon via podcast.