Jon Jones has stated that he vacated his UFC Light Heavyweight championship because he didn't want to stall the 205-pound weight class. The 33-year-old believes that his impending move to the Heavyweight division would have abstained other competitors from having a title shot, had he not dropped his belt.
Jones, one of the greatest mixed-martial-artists of all time, has 11 title defenses under his belt which arguably makes him the most dominant champion in UFC's history. After an extraordinary stint in the Light Heavyweight division, Jones is set to move up one weight class and compete as a Heavyweight.
While speaking to Bleacher Report, "Bones" clarified why he dropped his Light Heavyweight championship.
"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. 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," said Jon Jones.
"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." said Jon Jones.
Jones practically has no competitive interest in continuing fighting in the Light Heavyweight division since he has already beaten all the top contenders who challenged him.
"I will be ready for either of them" - Jon Jones on fighting Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou
Jon Jones also added that he will stay prepared for both Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou, the top two UFC heavyweights.
Considering that UFC is trying to book a fight between Miocic and Ngannou with the Heavyweight title on the line, it is unclear if Jones would be given an instant title shot in his first Heavyweight fight. If he does get an opportunity to fight for the Heavyweight title, it is likely that the 33-year-old may have to wait till the end of 2021. Regardless, Jon Jones noted that he will be ready to face either Miocic or Ngannou any time.
"I'll be ready for either of them. Both fights are extremely challenging. Stipe, he's the greatest heavyweight of all time. He has all the stats and records to prove that. And then Francis is just a freak when it comes to his knockout power, and he's improving constantly. Both fights are gigantic challenges, but that's what I'm here for in this stage of my career: to go big and see what I've got." said Jon Jones.Published 01 Jan 2021, 09:20 IST