Jon Jones is still looking forward to his debut at heavyweight but is now giving fans a tiny peek into why he decided to make this move.
In February of 2020, Jones left the UFC Octagon following a win over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247. He has not returned since. The bout against Reyes was arguably not the best showing for Jones and although he won via unanimous decision, there were many critics of his performance. Now Jones himself is claiming that the performance he put on in that fight was part of the reason he decide to leave the light heavyweight division and move up to heavyweight.
My candle for light heavyweight blew out, it showed in my last fight, instead of being discouraged by a bad performance, I’m stoked about this new season. New energy. My time at LWH was over, I see that more clear today than ever
— BONY (@JonnyBones) March 29, 2022
“My candle for light heavyweight blew out, it showed in my last fight, instead of being discouraged by a bad performance, I’m stoked about this new season,” he wrote on Twitter. “New energy. My time at LWH was over, I see that more clear today than ever.”
In May of 2020, Jones announced that he was vacating the light heavyweight title and setting his sights on the heavyweight division. At the time, the assumption was that Jones would be facing off against Francis Ngannou but due to negotiation issues that fight was not made. Jones took some time to get himself to where he wanted to be in terms of physique. He has been showcasing his weight and muscle gain journey on social media. Although he has remained adamant that he will be making that walk to the Octagon again to fight, the exact return date has not been revealed.
Jones has also been in trouble with the law recently. He was arrested in Las Vegas for domestic violence which could have stalled his return as well. In his absence, the title is still in the hands of Ngannou, although an interim title has come and gone. Now Ngannou might be out for a while due to injury and the idea of a new interim title is never that far out of reach to the UFC. If Jones wants in on a hypothetical interim belt, that seems like something the UFC would jump on.
In the meantime, the heavyweight division is seeing new contenders rising up while Jon Jones and other top athletes, such as Stipe Miocic sit on the sidelines. Jones has all but ruled out a return to 205 pounds so the only way forward is up.