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Jon Jones says he is vacating UFC belt, possible next title match set

Image: UFC

This story was updated at 10:45 PM Eastern.

In a move that may further outline the future of two divisions, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones said on Twitter Monday that he is vacating the light heavyweight championship he has held since December 2018.

He tweeted (sic), "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."

He later tweeted (sic), "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 has a fan and doing my best to take care of my family and community" and "In good faith I will be staying in the testing pool for probably the next half year or so. I’ll continue to lift weights and train all the different martial arts".

The move comes on the heels of the UFC reportedly booking a September 26th fight between top contenders Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz, two men thought to be the top challenger to Jones and the 205-pound title. If that fight comes to be and if the Jones vacating of the title is true, it's fully expected that fight will be for the title.

Reyes lost to Jones via a somewhat controversial unanimous decision in February for the first loss in his career while Blachowicz has won seven of his last eight with three finishes in his last four wins.

In late-May, Jones publicly campaigned for a fight with Francis Ngannou but wanted more money for doing so, something that caused issues with Dana White. At the time, Jones offered to relinquish the title and that Reyes and Blachowicz should fight for it. There was speculation over the weekend that perhaps Jones might be the next in line to fight UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic as Jones was very active on Twitter during the Miocic-Daniel Cormeir fight Saturday.

After Saturday's event, White said that Ngannou is next in line for a heavyweight title shot but that Jones at heavyweight "is interesting."

About an hour after announcing the vacation, Jones tweeted (sic), "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." He also challenged any light heavyweight to defend the title six times in a row and he'd donate $100,000 to a charity of their choice. He said he was going to offer that up for breaking his defense record (11) but "that's probably not happening in my lifetime."