Jon Jones may not have plans to fight any time soon, but his UFC light heavyweight championship isn’t going anywhere just yet.
Over the past few months, Jones has been at odds with the UFC after he attempted to procure a fight against heavyweight knockout artist Francis Ngannou after they exchanged several messages on social media teasing a potential showdown. When Jones reached out to the UFC to gauge their interest in the fight, he said the promotion shot down any attempted negotiation for a more lucrative deal to finally see him test the heavyweight waters.
UFC president Dana White later countered by claiming Jones was asking for an absurd amount of money and the conversation with the light heavyweight champion only seemed to turn more volatile from there.
Since that time, Jones has stated that he has no interest in fighting any time soon — if ever again — unless the UFC is willing to pay him what he believes he’s worth.
According to White, he still hasn’t spoken to Jones since this war of words first erupted but it also seems like the UFC hasn’t really attempted to book him in a fight following his win over Dominick Reyes earlier this year.
“You know as much as I know,” White told Barstool Sports when asked about Jones’ status with the promotion. “The last time he said ‘I’m not fighting,’ he’s not fighting, so we’re feeling this thing out. When it’s time for him to fight, we’ll see.”
Ever since Jones made his declaration that he planned on sitting out for an undetermined amount of time, light heavyweight contenders like Reyes and Jan Blachowicz have spoken out in hopes that the UFC would do something to get the division moving again.
Unfortunately for them, there’s been no talk of introducing an interim title, and it appears for now, the light heavyweight championship is still secure around Jones’ waist.
“Not as of yet, no,” White responded when asked if the UFC was considering stripping Jones of his belt.
Lately, Jones has been putting more of his efforts into charity work in his adopted home state of New Mexico rather than talking about his future in fighting.
It doesn’t seem like the UFC is trying to rush him back right now with White confirming in the same interview that the promotion has already plotted out events into November, but obviously Jones hasn’t factored into their plans just yet.