The light heavyweight division has been stuck in limbo for months now, but there’s signs things are about to pick back up.
205 pound champ Jon Jones has been sitting on the sidelines since the end of May, the result of a botched hardball attempt to get the UFC back to the negotiating table for a Francis Ngannou superfight. ‘Retired’ is the word UFC president Dana White loves to use. But we all know the truth, and even Jones himself isn’t hiding the fact that he’d come back in a heartbeat should a proper offer come across his table.
It doesn’t even sound like Jones is asking for all that much. But with the UFC deadset on keeping the number of fighters capable of making eight figures down to one (Conor McGregor), it sounds like they’re not even willing to sit down with the GOAT contender. There was some promising movement over UFC 252 weekend, with Dana White saying he’d reached out to Jones about a light heavyweight title fight.
And then Jones spammed Twitter during the fights, declaring his desire to move up to heavyweight and take Stipe Miocic’s belt. But any hopes that might turn into anything other than talk dissolved during the post-fight press conference when White shut down any hope fans might have of a light heavyweight vs. heavyweight champ showdown.
So what’s next? If Jones isn’t headed to heavyweight, White says he has to rematch Dominick Reyes at 205. He also said there’d be a light heavyweight title fight before the end of 2020. So either “Bones” and the UFC have to come to terms pretty quick or the promotion may finally pull the trigger on stripping Jones of the title, making him the undisputed GOAT of losing belts without losing. The UFC certainly seems about ready to act one way or the other, as this latest development on social media shows.
Check out Dominick Reyes’ latest Instagram post:
“Contract Signed,” Reyes declared. “Wanna thank my manager @tikighosn for getting it done!”
What kind of contract Reyes just signed is unclear — did he just sign a new overall deal with the UFC locking him in for more fights at a new rate, or is he talking about a bout agreement for a specific opponent and specific date? We’re leaning towards it being a new overall deal, but that’s just our intuition right there. While not a definitive death knell for Jones’ latest title reign, it’s a big step in that direction. With finances out of the way, getting a bout agreement signed is as simple as sending Reyes the paperwork.
What do you think, Maniacs? Is the UFC even going to try and entice Jon Jones to come back and face Reyes? Or is a Dominick Reyes vs. Thiago Santos or Jan Blachowicz fight for the vacant title imminent?