Jon Jones has taken a huge step towards UFC's heavyweight division after confirming that he's vacated the light heavyweight title.
On Saturday night Stipe Miocic defended the heavyweight title by beating Daniel Cormier at UFC 252, within minutes Jones had tweeted about a move up in weight, something he's threatened before.
Now it seems that Jones is serious this time as he once again took to social media on Monday night to confirm that he had spoken to the UFC and had vacated his title.
Just got off the phone with @Ufc, today I confirm that I'm vacating the light heavyweight championship. It's officially up for grabs. It's been an amazing journey, sincere thank you to all my competition, Ufc and most importantly you fans.- BONY (@JonnyBones) August 17, 2020
Jones won the 205 lb belt in 2011 at UFC 128 by beating Mauricio Rua before defending the belt seven times, the last of which against Cormier, before being stripped of the belt for a positive drugs test.
He beat Cormier two years later to regain the belt, only for the result to be overturned to a No Contest, because 'Bones' once again failed a drugs test.
When DC moved up to heavyweight it was his rival who won the title again, against Alexander Gustafsson and he's defended it three times since, with the latest defence against Dominick Reyes at UFC 247.
That fight ended in controversy with many believing Reyes had won. Now it seems the 30-year-old, with only one loss on his record, will get the chance to win the vacated title as he's rumoured to be facing Jan Blachowicz in September.
Breaking: A 205-pound fight between Dominick Reyes (@DomReyes) and Jan Blachowicz (@JanBlachowicz) is in the works for Sept. 26. The fight is nearly agreed to, but the stakes are being worked out. UFC is working with current champ Jon Jones right now to figure out his next move. pic.twitter.com/lHy7GUfX2Q- Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) August 17, 2020
Whilst Jones latest move seems to suggest he'll be moving up in weight, potentially to face Miocic, social media rival Francis Ngannou, or someone else, it isn't quite that simple.
The now former light heavyweight champ has been in a long term standoff with Dana White over a pay increase and that's not going away anytime soon.
The last I spoke with @UFC about my salary there was no negotiating. If that ever changes, i'd love to come back and compete again as a heavyweight. Until then, I'll be enjoying Ufc has a fan and doing my best to take care of my family and community https://t.co/NoTTpRTMH0- BONY (@JonnyBones) August 17, 2020
As well as Jones' own tweet on the pay situation, TMZ are reporting that White is under the impression that the man considered one of the greatest of all time has actually retired.
TMZ says Dana White believes Jon Jones is retiring. https://t.co/FZ7hgbKXsN- Austin Kellerman (@AustinKellerman) August 17, 2020
It's very much a game of chess between Jones and White and the UFC, but who will make the big move first?
Do you think Jones will step up to heavyweight? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.