Jon Jones Relinquishes Title, New Champion To Be Crowned At UFC 253
Jon Jones has relinquished his UFC light heavyweight title. The 33 year old previously hinted at vacating his title, after negotiations stalled for him to move up to heavyweight and fight Francis Ngannou. Now it looks like ‘Bones’ is officially no longer the UFC 205lbs champion.
In the last couple of hours, Jones has taken to social media to make the announcement.
Although it looked like initial negotiations were going the same way as his previous negotiations, Jones returned to Twitter an hour later to give a positive update on his talks with the UFC.
It is also worth mentioning that UFC president Dana White stated at the UFC 252 post fight press conference that Jones will not push in front of Ngannou for the next title shot against Stipe Miocic. This raises the question, if he isn’t going to fight the champion or ‘The Predator’ in his heavyweight debut, who will he fight? Or will he wait for the winner?
Jones had been extremely active on social media during the Miocic vs Daniel Cormier trilogy bout at UFC 252 this past weekend, saying that it’s only a matter of time before he becomes the new heavyweight champion.
With the light heavyweight title vacant, Jones challenged his former 205lbs rivals to win the belt and then defend it five times. Offering $100,000 to a charity of the fighter’s choice, should they achieve it.
When asked by one fan if he was not tempted to go for the ‘champ champ’ status, Jones said that while it was tempting, he’s going to concentrate on moving up and putting on extra pounds.
In response to Jones’ tweets, several fighters took to social media to react to the news. Including Dominick Reyes, the man many thought beat ‘Bones’ at UFC 247, in Jon’s last outing.
Just hours prior to Jones’ announcement, ESPN reported that Reyes vs Jan Blachowicz is set to go down at UFC 253 card, on September 26th. Both 205 pounders have been campaigning for the next shot at Jones, but now they will face off for the light heavyweight title.
Reyes’ only loss came at the hands of Jones, controversially in his last fight. The 30 year old had won his first twelve professional fights. Blachowicz meanwhile, is on a three fight winning streak, and coming off a first round knockout over Corey Anderson at UFC Rio Rancho at the start of the year.
As we reported previously, Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira are set to headline the UFC’s September 12th card. With the developments in the 205lbs division in the last few hours, it’s looking likely that the winner of this main event will challenge for the light heavyweight title next.
And just in the last couple of minutes, Brett Okamoto has reported that former light heavyweight title challenger Anthony Johnson, will re-enter the USADA testing pool this week. Meaning he will be eligible to fight in the UFC again in six months. When we spoke to his manager Ali Abdelaziz recently, he told us that ‘Rumble’ will be a UFC champion in 2021.
How does Jon Jones do at heavyweight? And who do you think will be the UFC light heavyweight champion this time next year, Dominick Reyes, Jan Blachowicz, Thiago Santos, Glover Teixeira or someone else?