For those hoping to see Jon Jones make his heavyweight debut in 2021, it doesn’t seem like that may happen, according to the former 205-pound champion.
Jones, who hasn’t competed since defending his title — which has since been vacated and captured by Jan Blachowicz — against Dominick Reyes via unanimous decision at UFC 247 in March 2020. “Bones” gave up the belt in order to make the move to the heavyweight division, and a hopeful encounter with new titleholder Francis Ngannou.
The relationship between Jones, the UFC, and Dana White has been a rocky one to say the least, with the bumps in the road continuing since Jones made the move up a weight division. Jones feels like he’s not being given what he’s earned as one of the greatest to ever do it, while White feels like Jones has been asking too much in order to face Ngannou.
Be that as it may, Jones took to Twitter on Tuesday to let his fans know that he plans to sit out the remainder of 2021 in order to be fully ready for his heavyweight debut in mid-2022.
Honestly I feel like the only people that it benefits, me jumping in their early are the other heavy weights. The way I’m training, I’m gonna be a real problem this time next year. I’m comfortable enough to wait and that’s exactly what I’ll do— BONY (@JonnyBones) May 25, 2021
Yes, I got a feeling you guys will still be around. The sport should be bigger than ever by then.. Always looking on the bright side https://t.co/YwB9nGudMb— BONY (@JonnyBones) May 25, 2021
Man I’m telling you, I’ve always been the skinny one in my family. Becoming a proper heavy weight is a lot more difficult than I had ever anticipated. I want to do it right the first time. https://t.co/VjnZkh0q6N— BONY (@JonnyBones) May 25, 2021
Despite multiple suspensions and run-ins with the law, Jones has fought at least once in every year since he made his pro debut in 2008. His longest layoff took place between his knockout win over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 in July 2017—that was subsequently overturned to a no contest after Jones failed a drug test—and his third-round TKO win over Alexander Gustafsson 17 months later at UFC 232.