A Twitter statement on Monday night from Jon Jones indicated that the long-time light heavyweight fighter has vacated his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
“Just got off the phone with @UFC, today I confirm that I’m vacating the [UFC] light heavyweight championship. It’s officially up for grabs,” said Jones via Twitter.
An hour later, Jones tweeted that “there will be negotiations” for his next bout to be at heavyweight.
The statement comes days after another Tweet from Jones that implied he has his sights set on the UFC Heavyweight Championship.
Prior to UFC 252, UFC President Dana White told Brett Okamoto of ESPN that he was “waiting to hear back” from Jones and planned to book a UFC Light Heavyweight Championship bout before the end of 2020.
Jones’ last fight was last February, defending his belt in a unanimous decision over Dominick Reyes. The bout was one that many argued could have been scored in favour of Reyes, a previously undefeated 12-fight competitor.
Jones has been in the light heavyweight title picture since 2011, although conflict including failed drug tests and legal issues have stripped him of the belt three times.
The current run for Jones started in 2018, defeating Alexander Gustaffson to become a three-time champion. He has since defended the belt three times.