It’s been speculated for a while but it’s now confirmed by Jon Jones — he just wasn’t motivated for his last few light heavyweight fights.
Jones vacated his 205-pound title earlier this year as he now prepares to make his highly-anticipated move up to the heavyweight division in 2021.
It’s certainly a welcome move as the last few fights for “Bones” haven’t been him at his best.
He won a unanimous decision against Anthony Smith in March last year but it was a forgettable affair as a whole. Jones would then earn his first split decision win in the UFC after going the full distance with an injured Thiago Santos in July later that year.
His last performance was more entertaining but mainly because of opponent Dominick Reyes who many observers felt deserved to beat Jones only for the latter to edge out a razor-thin unanimous decision victory in February earlier this year.
Some have speculated that Jones simply wasn’t motivated for those fights because they were smaller names while others believe he is declining.
As far as Jones is concerned, he just wasn’t scared of the contenders in the division anymore.
“The light heavyweight division was fun, but I just wasn’t scared of those guys anymore,” Jones told ESPN. “Like, none of them. And I think it showed in some of my performances. Obviously, I still trained hard. But there was no urgency in some of my last fights.
“With these next guys I’m going to be going up against, I respect these guys. These guys are intimidating — they’re intimidating as s—. It just gets me up in a whole different way.”
Jones Wants No Debate
The contenders in the heavyweight division are naturally bigger and new threats for Jones, but that’s not the only reason he has made the long-awaited move up.
With the GOAT debate being rampant ever since Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement in October, Jones wants there to no longer be a debate once he conquers another division.
“I just want there to be no debate when I’m done,” Jones said. “I do feel like I’ve had a great light heavyweight career. I’m by far the greatest light heavyweight. And in my heart, I do feel like I’m the best fighter in this sport’s history.
“But I just don’t want there to be any debate. And one way I can do that is by capturing this heavyweight crown, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
Jones is already regarded by many as the GOAT — there would certainly be no argument about that if he were to further his legacy by winning the heavyweight title.