Jon Jones explains why he vacated the UFC light heavyweight title

Jon Jones
Image via @jonnybones on Instagram (photographer not listed)

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones explained why he decided to give up his 205lbs belt and announce the move up to heavyweight.

Jones recently announced on social media that he vacated the UFC light heavyweight title, and the vacant title will be on the line at UFC 253 in September between Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz. Jones made the decision to drop his belt and make the move to heavyweight for a few reasons, which he expanded on in a social media post. Taking to his Twitter on Thursday night, Jones expanded on his decision to vacate the 205lbs belt.

I vacated the light heavyweight championship because I knew my heavyweight goals were going to take some time. I wasn’t going to play games with the contenders and make people fight interim championship belts. There’s little rest on the throne

Since announcing his move up to heavyweight, Jones has become an immediate target of UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, who recently defended his belt in a trilogy fight against Jones’ long-time rival Daniel Cormier. Miocic has said that he wants new challenges for his next title defense and isn’t interested in a rematch with Francis Ngannou for that very reason. There is no doubt that Jones qualifies as a new challenge for Miocic. And for the UFC as a promotion, Jones vs. Miocic is about as big of a fight as they can book.

While UFC president Dana White did originally announce at UFC 252 that Ngannou would be next in line for the title shot against Miocic, Jones moving up to heavyweight the week afterward complicated things. With four straight knockout wins, Ngannou has all the right in the world to fight for the belt. However, Miocic has admitted a rematch with Ngannou, who he already beat in 2018, doesn’t interest him, bonding well for Jones.

Another thing that bodes well for Jones in his heavyweight title aspirations is that White said this week that he believes the long-time light heavyweight champ deserves an immediate title shot at heavyweight. White didn’t say if that means that Ngannou gets the first shot and then Jones gets the title shot next, or if Jones would jump the line. But it’s clear the UFC bossman knows Jones has a serious interest in fighting at heavyweight.

Do you believe Jon Jones made the correct decision to vacate the UFC light heavyweight title in order to pursue greatness at heavyweight?