Jon Jones has ruled out the possibility of ever returning to UFC‘s light heavyweight division that he once dominated.
The 33-year-old, regarded as one of the promotion’s finest ever pound-for-pound fighters, vacated his light heavyweight title last summer after planning to compete in the heavyweight division.
But despite his success in the 205 lbs class, Jones insists he has no plans ever to return to the division insisting he is ready to allow other fighters to have their turn with the belt having held the prize over two reigns (having been stripped of the title) for much of the last decade.
Jon Jones vacated his light heavyweight title last summer after a near decade of dominance
‘The reason why I decided to vacate the light heavyweight belt and not hang onto it is that I knew my move to heavyweight was going to take a really long time,’ Jones told Bleacher Report.
‘I didn’t want to be one of those athletes to slow down the division. I feel like I’ve held onto the light heavyweight championship for so long—I’ve ruined so many people’s dreams of being the light heavyweight champion—and now it’s time for someone else to have it.
‘I thought it was the right thing to do for everyone else. I could have done the selfish thing and held onto it and come up with a bunch of excuses and lied to the fans and said I was going to come back down to light heavyweight and made all these guys wait. I didn’t want to do that. I have no intentions of ever going back to light heavyweight.’
Jones is now looking at landing the heavyweight title currently held by Stipe Miocic (above)
Jones is now looking towards winning a second UFC belt with the heavyweight title which is currently held by Stipe Miocic, who is due to take on No 1 contender Francis Ngannou early this year.
UFC president Dana White though hinted last summer that Jones could face the winner of the bout when he was quizzed on whether he would be worthy of an immediate title shot in the heavyweight class..
He insisted he remains undefeated – ignoring a controversial disqualification call by referee Steve Mazzagatti in 2009 which remains Jones’ only official defeat in the promotion.
“Of course. I mean realistically, Jon Jones is undefeated,’ White said. ‘He’s never been beat. Mazzagatti is a guy who’s been out of this game for years, I don’t want to keep beating this guy up, but you know. You know. Jon Jones is undefeated,’
UFC president Dana White believes Jones is ready for a chance to challenge for the title