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Jon Jones vacates light heavyweight belt; UFC eyes Reyes vs. Blachowicz for vacant title

It’s the end of an era in the UFC light heavyweight division. Jon Jones (26-1-0), who has held the belt for the better part of nine years, vacated the crown Monday.

Jones, 33, took to his Twitter account to announce the move and the next steps towards competing in the heavyweight division.

Previously, there was talk of Jones moving up to fight Francis Ngannou, but those talks broke down over money.

Jones leaves the light heavyweight division as a three-time champion since initially winning the title from Mauricio Rua in 2011 at UFC 128. He never lost it in the octagon, but issues with the law and USADA anti-doping violations caused him to be stripped in 2015, 2016 (interim title), and 2017. Despite this, Jones managed to defend the belt 11 times.

His last defence was a controversial decision win over No. 1 contender Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 in February.

With the title vacant, unconfirmed reports are floating a bout between Dominic Reyes and Jan Blachowicz.

Blachowicz, 37, defeated Corey Anderson in his last fight, part of a three fight win streak. He is currently ranked No. 3 in the division.

The UFC is expected to confirm who will fight for the vacant light heavyweight belt shortly.


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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