Before UFC 167, light heavyweight champion Jon Jones told CBS Baltimore that he planned to retire by the age of 30. The 26 year-old fighter said that he believed he could fight on for longer than that, but has no intention to.
"I’m 26 right now. I think a man can be in his fighting prime until his mid 30′s. Saying that though I would like to retire by 30, so a few more years," Jones said.
More recently, Jones expanded on that announcement to MMA Junkie.
“I just want to leave the sport with a good head on my shoulders,” Jones said.
“I don’t want to be one of these guys that are taking fights way past their prime.”
Bones is wary of hanging around the sport too long and taking too much damage. He seems to be echoing welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre's more vaguely expressed concerns for himself.
“I want to leave my legacy in a healthy spot," Jones went on.
"I want my legacy to be respected and I just want to leave on top...There’s a lot of other business out there.”
If Jones manages to continue fighting in the UFC until he is 30, he will have competed in the organization for nearly a decade - a relative eternity in MMA. Jones said that he could retire today and be financially independent and comfortable.
In addition to his fight purses, Jones has endorsement deals with Nike and Gatorade, among others. Do you think Jones is thinking too far ahead or does the kid just have his head on straight in planning for retirement and his future?
Let us know in the comments section.
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