Jon Jones’ pursuit of a chance at a UFC heavyweight title years after reigning over the lightweight division could be over before it even really began, Dana White said Thursday.
White told TMZ Sports on Thursday the company is “moving on” with Jones’ interest in challenging Francis Ngannou for the title. Jones reportedly hasn’t been able to negotiate a deal with UFC.
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“Yeah, I’ve absolutely moved on,” White said. “Listen, I put on fights every Saturday. We have a window where we try to build some fights and make some things happen. If the fights don’t happen within that window, we move on, and realistically, I mean I’ve been saying it since the beginning, Derrick Lewis is the guy who should be getting the title shots. He beat Francis Ngannou. He’s next in line, he’s coming off of great performances and that’s a wrap. We’re moving on.”
He added that whether the company is totally done with Jones is up to the fighter. White said he had no problem with Jones leaving the company unbeaten.
Jones’ lone blemish on his record came in The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale against Matt Hamill when he was disqualified for illegal elbows. His fight against Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 was ruled a no contest.
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“For those people that don’t know, you see that one loss on his record, he didn’t lose that fight, he won that fight in dominant fashion like most of his fights,” White said. “It was a time when the Nevada Athletic Commission was at its weakest and there was a referee that shouldn’t have been in there, and he stole that fight from Jon Jones. So, it wouldn’t be a bad thing for him to go out on top.”
Jones has been training for a possible heavyweight fight. He has consistently posted photos and videos of himself on his Instagram proving that he’s not a lightweight contender anymore.
When a fan asked when his next fight was, Jones said he was unsure but was enjoying the downtime.
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“I’m really not sure when I’ll be fighting next, but some downtime after a decade of wins is a nice little change up right now,” he tweeted.