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Despite what sounded like a rather negative situation on Monday when Jon Jones vacated the UFC light heavyweight title, he has already entered into negotiations for his first heavyweight bout.
Jones on Monday announced that he had vacated the UFC light heavyweight championship. Unfortunately, he added that, at that point, there had been no movement on his demands to re-negotiate his contract and put him in a heavyweight bout.
“Just got off the phone with (the UFC), today I confirm that I’m vacating the light heavyweight championship. It’s officially up for grabs,” Jones wrote on Monday. “It’s been an amazing journey, sincere thank you to all my competition, UFC and most importantly you fans.”
“The last I spoke with (the 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 as a fan and doing my best to take care of my family and community.”
He added that, in good faith, he would remain in the USADA testing pool so that he would remain eligible to fight if the UFC determined it would move on its end of the negotiations.
Apparently the UFC was listening and decided that it was worth talking to Jones at heavyweight. After all, UFC president Dana White on Saturday night said that "Jon Jones going to heavyweight is very interesting.”
A few hours after vacating the 205-pound belt, Jones tweeted, "Just had a really positive conversation with (the UFC). Sounds like there will be negotiations for my next fight at heavyweight. All good news, the weight gaining process begins."
Jones also shot down any idea of him trying to hold the UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight titles simultaneously, believing that once he puts on mass for heavyweight, he will reach his genetic potential.
"It would’ve been fun (to hold the belt in two divisions), but have you seen the size of the guys in my family? I really do believe putting on a little extra weight is going to bring out my true genetic/athletic potential."
Jones isn't likely to step immediately into a title shot at heavyweight. Stipe Miocic, in defeating Daniel Cormier at UFC 252 on Saturday, remains the champion with White insisting that Francis Ngannou would be his next challenger.
Though White likes the idea of Jones moving to heavyweight, unless Miocic decides to step away, about the only way that Jones would get an immediate title shot is if he was willing to wait for the winner of the Miocic vs. Ngannou bout, which doesn't currently have a reported target date.