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Why did Jon Jones vacate the UFC light heavyweight title?

Jon Jones
Jon Jones
Johny Payne
Modified 16 Feb 2021

Jon Jones vacated the UFC light heavyweight title to pursue his goal of winning the UFC heavyweight title, which, he believes, will take some time.

Since announcing his move from light heavyweight to heavyweight in 2020, Jon Jones has consistently asserted that he intends to win the UFC heavyweight title and solidify himself as the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time).

What did Jon Jones say about vacating the UFC light heavyweight title?

Jon Jones vacated the UFC light heavyweight title on August 17th, 2020. In the ensuing days, Jones took to his official Twitter account to explain why he chose to vacate the title. Jones stated:

“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”

Jon Jones wants to capture the UFC HW belt and cement his legacy as one of the greatest fighters of all time

Jon Jones is widely considered to be one of the greatest combat sportspersons of all time. Bones is regarded as one of the best to ever compete in the sport of MMA. Besides, he’s hailed by many as the greatest of all time in the light heavyweight division.


Jones defeated MMA legend Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua via third-round TKO at UFC 128 on March 19th, 2011 to win the UFC light heavyweight title. Bones was only 23 years of age and became the youngest champion in UFC history.

The win over Shogun marked the beginning of Jon Jones’ reign of dominance in the UFC light heavyweight division that lasted until he vacated his UFC light heavyweight title in August 2020.

The MMA superstar has faced his fair share of adversity outside the octagon. Jon Jones’ hit-and-run incident led to him being stripped of the UFC light heavyweight title in 2015. Additionally, failed PED tests resulted in Jones getting stripped of the interim UFC light heavyweight title in 2016. Furthermore, another round of failed PED tests ended with the UFC taking the light heavyweight title from him in 2017.

That said, each time he was stripped of UFC light heavyweight gold, he managed to stage a triumphant return and recapture the title. Jon Jones’ most recent fight witnessed him successfully defend the UFC light heavyweight title against Dominick Reyes via unanimous decision at UFC 247 on February 8th, 2020.

Whether Jon Jones can capture the UFC heavyweight title remains to be seen. Reigning UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic is scheduled to defend his title in a rematch against Francis Ngannou at UFC 260 on March 27th, 2021. Jon Jones will likely face the winner of this fight for the UFC heavyweight title later this year.

Published 16 Feb 2021, 03:51 IST
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