Jon Jones
Bones

USA

Will challenge for heavyweight belt
HeavyweightUFC
February 13, 2021
Dana White confirmed Friday that Jones will challenge for the title in his first fight in the heavyweight division, Farah Hannoun of MMA Junkie reports.
ANALYSIS
Jones vacated his UFC light heavyweight belt in August with the goal of pursuing a run at the heavyweight level instead. The 33-year-old has been undergoing an intense body transformation to bulk up for a potential fight and will officially face the winner of the Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou rematch at UFC 260 on March. 27. Jones hasn't fought in over a year but will likely re-enter the octagon sometime over the summer for his first test as a heavyweight competitor.
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Move to heavyweight official
HeavyweightUFC
August 18, 2020
Jones has officially relinquished his light heavyweight belt and informed the UFC of his intent to pursue a run at heavyweight.
ANALYSIS
This is something that Jones had been musing via his personal Twitter account all week, but the UFC confirmed the news via their official account late Tuesday evening. This coincides with another announcement that an upcoming matchup between Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz will take place at UFC 253 on September 26 to crown a new light heavyweight champion, though that specific event will be headlined by a middleweight title fight between Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa. Meanwhile, Jones may not have an official heavyweight debut booked, but sportsbooks have been indicating multiple possibilities for quite some time. Jones is currently listed as a (-150) betting favorite against current champion and presumed GOAT Stipe Miocic, while another matchup against dangerous contended Francis Ngannou pegs Bones as a (+110) betting underdog.
Moving on from light heavyweight?
HeavyweightUFC
August 17, 2020
Jones disclosed via his personal Twitter account that he's willing to compete in the heavyweight division if the UFC will negotiate with him on salary.
ANALYSIS
There's a strong implication here that Jones is no longer interested in competing at light heavyweight, which makes sense given today's developments. According to Brett Okamoto of ESPN, the UFC is working on a 205-pound fight between Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz, which has the makings of a title fight should Jones ultimately be forced to relinquish his belt due to inactivity. He last competed at UFC 247 on February 8, barely squeaking by Reyes in a controversial decision. Since then, talks of Jones moving up to heavyweight for a matchup against Francis Ngannou have been rumored, but Jones has implied he won't make this move unless the UFC is willing to come to the negotiating table with respect to his contract. Jones seems content to wait on the sidelines until that happens and even tweeted that he will train and stay in the testing pool for roughly 1.5 more years. Should this be the end for Jones at light heavyweight, he'll undoubtedly go down as the greatest 205-pound fighter to ever grace the Octagon. He's already in the GOAT conversation after making 13 official title defenses in the division spanning from 2011 through 2020.
Ready to walk away?
HeavyweightUFC
May 31, 2020
Jones declared via Twitter on Sunday that he would be relinquishing his light heavyweight belt, and Ariel Helwani of ESPN later reported that Jones is sincere in those intentions.
ANALYSIS
Jones and UFC President Dana White have been in headlines for the better part of this week due to a feud regarding Jones' compensation, particularly with a proposed fight between Jones and top heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou. The two sides were clearly far apart with respect to negotiations, and it seems the whole process has soured Jones enough that he's willing to walk away completely. While contenders such as Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz are waiting in the wings for a shot at Jones' belt, it was Jones himself that suggested the two fight for a belt he now considers vacant. Jones did note that he'd consider returning for a fight in 2021 against middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, but even in that event, Jones and the UFC would still need to reach an agreement on his contract. This all appears to be a fluid situation that could worsen, or, as Helwani suggests, improve with as little as a phone call. If it's really the end for Jones, the controversial champion will go down as the top light heavyweight of all-time and is even in the GOAT conversation.
Not facing discipline from UFC
HeavyweightUFC
May 8, 2020
Dana White indicated Friday that he has no plans to punish Jones for his arrest in March on DWI charges, MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Jones doesn't have a date set yet to return to the Octagon, but it appears he won't have to wait any longer due to his most recent legal troubles. His next move remains unclear, however. Dominick Reyes has been calling for a rematch after fighting Jones to a razor-thin decision in February, while Jan Blachowicz also has a case for a title shot after winning three consecutive fights at light heavyweight. Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has been vocal about wanting to move up to light heavyweight for a chance at Jones, while there have been rumblings about Jones moving up a weight class himself for years. There are plenty of options on the table for the reigning champion while the UFC moves to the second half of its 2020 calendar, though countless events and locations have needed late changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Enters plea deal
HeavyweightUFC
March 31, 2020
Jones pled guilty to DWI in New Mexico on Tuesday and will be subject to 96 hours of community custody, one year of probation and 48 hours of community service as part of the deal, TMZ Sports reports.
ANALYSIS
Jones must also complete at least 90 days of outpatient treatment after being arrested for aggravated DWI and negligent use of a firearm March 26 in Albuquerque. The 32-year-old has seen his fair share of legal trouble over the years, including a disorderly conduct charge from July and a previous DWI in 2012. The longtime champion's next bout has yet to be scheduled after retaining his belt against Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 in early February.