UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has confirmed he’s relinquishing his 205lbs belt and moving up to heavyweight for his next fight.
The long-time title-holder and consensus greatest-of-all-time has been teasing a move to heavyweight for a number of years, with a disagreement over money appearing to be the only obstacle.
And following Saturday’s UFC 252 main event which saw Stipe Miocic defeat Daniel Cormier for the heavyweight strap, Jones took to social media to announce he’s set to give up his status as LHW champ to finally make the move up.
“Just got off the phone to the UFC, today I can confirm that I’m vacating the light heavyweight championship. It’s finally up for grabs,” Jones tweeted.
“It’s been an amazing journey, sincere thank you to all my competition, UFC and most importantly you fans.”
The announcement will come as somewhat of a surprise to most. After showing an interest in moving up to face heavy-hitting Francis Ngannou earlier this year, negotiations broke down with UFC boss Dana White later branding Jones’ wage demands “absurd”.
But after watching Miocic outpoint his former rival in Saturday’s main event, it appears something lit a fire inside Jones, and he’s finally set to make the long-awaited jump up in weight to face the true titans of the sport.
Who he’ll face in his first contest is anyone’s guess. While a bout with Ngannou would make sense given the two have been at verbal war on Twitter in recent months, Dana appeared to shut down the idea of that one happening, saying the Cameroonian slogger would be next in line to face Miocic for the title.
While Jones may have to wait a while for that one, with no shortage of talent in the UFC it shouldn’t be long until we know who’ll welcome the former light heavyweight stud to his new home.