If there were any questions as to whether Jon Jones would need to take a fight at heavyweight before getting a title shot, there are none anymore.
Jones has been at odds with the UFC over the past few months regarding his pay and just last week, Jones vacated his UFC light heavyweight title. Shortly afterwards though, the light heavyweight GOAT did tease an eventual move up to the heavyweight division. Speaking to reporters after Tuesday night’s Contender Series event, UFC President Dana White was asked about Jones impending move to heavyweight, and whether his career at 205 pounds would warrant an immediate title shot, and White put any such questions to bed.
“Of course,” White said. “I mean realistically, Jon Jones is undefeated. He’s never been beat. Mazzagatti’s been out of the game for years. I don’t mean to keep beating this guy up, but you know. Jon Jones is undefeated.”
Jones is functionally undefeated at light heavyweight, having amassed a near-perfect record of 26-1, with 1 NC. The no-contest famously came as a result of failing a drug test after knocking out Daniel Cormier in their rematch and his loss was a controversial disqualification for throwing illegal elbows in a bout Jones was handily winning. But though his sterling record will warrant an immediate title shot for him should he want it, White has made it clear that Jones still has to wait in line behind Francis Nganou.
That’s ironic because it was Ngannou, earlier this year, who nearly prompted Jones up to heavyweight, however terms with the UFC could never be agreed to. Now, Jones will have to sit on the sidelines while waiting for Ngannou to get his second crack heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, presumably at the end of this year. But that actually lines up well for Jones who, White says, is currently taking some time to focus on other things and is in no rush to return to fighting.
“Last time we talked to Jon Jones, Jon Jones said he was going to take some time and do his things he’s into right now and take some time, and when there’s a right fight, he’ll give us a call,” White said.
Jones last fought in February at UFC 247, taking a controversial unanimous decision over Dominick Reyes to defend his light heavyweight title for the third time consecutively and eleventh title defense overall.