UFC light heavyweight contender Dominick Reyes wants the division’s champion, Jon Jones, to be stripped of his title.
Jones, who has not fought since he defeated Reyes via controversial decision in February, is currently embroiled in a contract dispute with the UFC, and has stated he’s willing to sit out for multiple years if it means improving fighter pay.
“If I have to have a bad relationship with Dana [White], sit out for two years, three years, to bring light to what’s happening, then these are the things people remember you for more than winning belts,” Jones said on Steve-O’s Wild Ride podcast in June. “I stood for the younger fighters.”
Reyes, who has been vocal about his desire for a rematch with Jones, believes the champion should be stripped of his title if he doesn’t intend to fight.
“If he’s not gonna fight, then you’re done,” Reyes told SiriusXM (via MMA Mania). “You’re done, you’re stripped, it’s over because he retired. I mean I guess it’s not stripped, it’s more retired. He said he’d walk away … I don’t know, he’s trying to twist and make it so he can get more fans, ‘I’m a champion for the fighters, I’m doing all these other things.’ He should have just fought me. You can’t sit out two years with a new champion and then be like, ‘Well, I’m the undisputed champ.’ You quit.”
For what it’s worth, Jones has expressed some optimism that the UFC will ultimately meet him half way and give him a pay boost. If that doesn’t happen, however, he has no intention of fighting, and the UFC may be forced to strip him to keep the division moving.
If Jones is stripped, Reyes will almost certainly be involved in the fight for the vacant title.
“I don’t want to fight soon,” Jones said. “I have no interest in fighting in the UFC until I get paid what I believe I’m worth.
“I think it’s really powerful when you stand up for what you believe is right. I think eventually the UFC will realize that they’re being stubborn, will realize that they have a special athlete in myself, and I think they’ll eventually meet me halfway.”
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