Technically, Jon Jones has never lost the UFC light heavyweight title since he first won it back in 2011.
However, having had it stripped on multiple occasions for failed drug tests, he is now relinquishing the title for good.
On Monday, the longtime star of the sport declared that he will be vacating the title, leaving it up for grabs, after months of failed negotiations with UFC for his next fight. The failed negotiations had led to his request to be released from his contract as well.
What to be expected is that this leads to Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz’s September 26 bout being for that vacant title. Ariel Helwani of ESPN believes this isn’t signaling the end of Bones’ UFC career, rather the eventual shift to the heavyweight division for the star.
Both of those things happening remains in question until they’re made official, but Jones was teasing Daniel Cormier on Twitter prior to his retirement fight against Stipe Miocic on Saturday. It’s possible Jones looks to make the move to the heavyweight class to add that belt to his list of accolades in UFC and bolster is profile as arguably the greatest ever.
One would think that he could probably get a title fight if he wanted out of the gate, but might prefer to get a heavyweight bout under his belt first before challenging Miocic.