“I vacated the light heavyweight championship because” – Jon Jones once explained the reason behind him relinquishing the 205-pound UFC title

Former 205-pound UFC champion Jon Jones once detailed why he relinquished his light heavyweight championship

Jon Jones
Jon Jones

Over the years, Jon Jones has made the headlines for a variety of reasons. However, in August 2020, the former 205-pound champion shocked the MMA world when he relinquished his light heavyweight title. Having held the prestigious light heavyweight title for a very brief period, Jones’ decision seemed surprising.

Before relinquishing his UFC gold, Jones had tough fights against the likes of Thiago Santos and Dominick Reyes. Even though he was victorious, Jones seemed to have trouble dealing with the two. Many wondered, if his performances made Jones think he should quit the sport.

However, that wasn’t the case. ‘Bones’ wanted to move up in weight, and hence he needed time to prepare. “I vacated the light heavyweight championship because I knew my heavyweight goals were going to take some time. I wasn’t going to play games with the contenders and make people fight interim championship belts. There’s little rest on the throne.” [Talk Sport]

While Jon Jones is yet to make his heavyweight debut, the historic moments he created at 205 will be cherished forever. Among the many iconic moments, his fight against Mauricio Rua may rank number one.

Related: Jon Jones has set UFC 282 as the date to make his triumphant heavyweight debut

Jon Jones created history against Mauricio Rua

Jon Jones
Jon Jones in action

Since making his UFC debut against André Gusmão at UFC 87, it took Jon Jones six more fights to be granted a title opportunity against Mauricio Rua. In his run towards the title shot, ‘Bones’ showcased incredible striking and grappling skills, along with his physical attributes.

While many wondered how would he fare against the legendary Mauricio Rua, Jones comfortably passed that test too. In a fight that lasted three rounds, Jones dominated the Brazilian for the duration of the entire fight. Eventually, a body shot, followed by a knee to the head dropped Rua to the ground, which caused the referee to stop the fight.

Despite this not being the first time an athlete won UFC gold, Jones’ win was indeed historic. By beating Mauricio Rua, Jon Jones became the youngest champion in UFC history at the age of 23. As of September 2022, Jones still holds this prestigious record.

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Since becoming champion, Jon Jones achieved a lot of success in his career. In total, ‘Bones’ has 13 title defences which place him on the top for the most title defences in UFC history. The former 205-pound champion holds historic wins over the likes of Daniel Cormier, Quinton Jackson, and Lyoto Machida to name a few. What are your thoughts on Jon Jones’ career in the UFC? Let us know your views in the comments below.

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