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Jon Jones Vacates UFC Light Heavyweight Title: 'It's Been an Amazing Journey'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2020

FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2019, file photo, Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones attends a news conference for the UFC 235 mixed martial arts event in Las Vegas. Jones will be allowed to fight at UFC 235 on Saturday despite two recent drug tests showing traces of a steroid metabolite, the Nevada State Athletic Commission announced Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, The commission affirmed its belief that the tests do not reflect new drug use and believes the two positive tests conducted Feb. 14 and 15 uncovered residual results from the drug intake that resulted in a 15-month suspension for Jones in 2017. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
John Locher/Associated Press

Jon Jones is no longer the UFC light heavyweight champion. 

He announced on Twitter that he will vacate the title:

BONY @JonnyBones

Just got off the phone with @Ufc, today I confirm that I’m vacating the light heavyweight championship. It’s officially up for grabs. It’s been an amazing journey, sincere thank you to all my competition, Ufc and most importantly you fans.

"It's officially up for grabs," Jones wrote on Monday. "It's been an amazing journey, sincere thank you to all my competition, UFC and most importantly you fans."

Jones also followed up with another tweet that explained, "The last I spoke with UFC about my salary there was no negotiating. If that ever changes, I'd love to come back and compete again as a heavyweight. Until then, I'll be enjoying UFC as a fan and doing my best to take care of my family and community."

He also said he will remain in the testing pool in the near future "in good faith."

Jones later added that he "just had a really positive conversation" with the UFC regarding a potential future fight:

BONY @JonnyBones

Just had a really positive conversation with @Ufc. Sounds like there will be negotiations for my next fight at heavy weight. All good news, the weight gaining process begins.

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Mike Bohn of USA Today's MMA Junkie explained there was "some mounting frustration" between Jones and the UFC of late. The fighter won in controversial style over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 in February and then suggested he should move up to heavyweight to fight Francis Ngannou.

Jones also believed he should make more money to move up weight classes and would step away if he couldn't come to an agreement with UFC.

According to Steven Marrocco of MMA Fighting, UFC President Dana White said Jones will not get the next chance at the heavyweight title following Stipe Miocic's win over Daniel Cormier.

However, White notably did not close the door on Jones fighting at the heavyweight level in the future.

"Francis has been out there destroying everybody, and if you look at how long ago it was that he got that title shot, he's worked his way back," White said. "It belongs to Francis Ngannou. But yeah, Jon Jones going to heavyweight is very interesting."

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