JON JONES has revealed he vacated the UFC’s light-heavyweight title because he knew his long-awaited move up to heavyweight “would take a long time”.
The consensus greatest light-heavyweight of all time relinquished the belt, which he defended a staggering 11 times, in August in order to pursue the promotion’s heavyweight title – which is currently in the possession of Stipe Miocic.
Jon Jones has set his sights on claiming the UFC’s heavyweight titleCredit: Zuffa
Jon Jones vacated the UFC’s light-heavyweight title in August
Jones’ decision to move up in weight, which, for many, has been long overdue, came after he ironed out his very public issues with the UFC brass.
Unlike champions of the past, Jones opted to set aside the 205lb belt before pursuing a second title.
And that decision stemmed from his eagerness to ensure the division didn’t grind to a halt.
He told Bleacher Report: “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.
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“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.”
The prospect of retaining the title never crossed the mind of Jones, who added: “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.”
Jones has no regrets about setting aside the title, which he admits he has no intention of recapturing.
He said: “I have no intentions of ever going back to light heavyweight.”
Jones, 33, is still in the process of bulking up in order to compete with the bigger men he’ll face at heavyweight.
“Like, none of them. And I think it showed in some of my performances.
“Obviously, I still trained hard. But there was no urgency in some of my last fights.
“With these next guys, I’m going to be going up against, I respect these guys.
“These guys are intimidating – they’re intimidating as sh*t. It just gets me up in a whole different way.”