Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Jon Jones recently vacated his 205-pound strap and will spend some time on the sidelines to contemplate his future in mixed martial arts (MMA).
If and when “Bones” does decide to make his Octagon return, it’s likely to be at heavyweight. After all, most of the fighters at 265 pounds are “slow” and leaving his current division allows Jones to avoid rematches against the likes of Dominick Reyes and Thiago Santos.
“He’s moving to heavyweight because those guys are slow,,” Reyes told ESPN (via MMA Fighting). “He can’t keep up with us anymore. After what me and Thiago did to him, he’s like, ‘Man, I need to go up. These guys are getting too fast, they’re getting too athletic, they’re getting too good. The heavyweights are still slow. I can do my thing against them.’ I think he sees that there are better matchups for him at heavyweight than there are at light heavyweight.”
Jones (26-1, 1 NC) narrowly defeated Santos in the UFC 239 main event and then faced similar struggles against Reyes at UFC 247. But “Bones” has a different narrative regarding his trip north and wants “The Devastator” to slap himself back to reality.
“I literally had to leave it all out there the night I beat Gus, my last fight I ended comfortably scoring points,” Jones wrote on Twitter. “Gus pushed me to a place I have still yet to see again. Both DC and Gus faced fatalities in our rematches, now for the first time in my career I’m terrified to have a rematch? If you believe this narrative, slap yourself.”
With Jones abandoning his post at 205 pounds, Reyes will battle fellow top contender Jan Blachowicz for the vacant light heavyweight title in the UFC 253 pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event next month in Abu Dhabi (more on that here).
“It sucks that I can’t beat Jon for it at this time,” Reyes continued. “But I’ll catch him. I’ll catch him later.”