MMA Rumors: Former Champ Jon Jones Leaving UFC For Bellator?
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones is undeniably one of the best fighters who ever stepped inside the Octagon. However, his legacy was stained with various controversies, including the use of performance-enhancing drugs. After receiving a lengthy suspension, will Jon Jones leave UFC to continue fighting for another MMA promotion?
At UFC 214, Jon Jones was given the opportunity to reclaim the light heavyweight title against Daniel Cormier. Jones successfully defeated Cormier via head kick TKO in the third round and once again rule the light heavyweight division. Unfortunately, his reign didn’t last long, as he was flagged for a potential doping violation by the USADA.
It was later confirmed that Jones tested positive for Turinabol, making the CSAC decide to overturn the UFC 214 result to no contest. The UFC lightweight title returned to Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones received a four-year suspension. UFC president Dana White expressed his disappointment with Jones and called him “unfixable.”
Recently, on his Instagram account, Jones posted a video of him hitting mitts, creating speculations that he might fight again in the Octagon sooner than expected. UFC champ Daniel Cormier, who’s set fight Volkan Oezdemir next, also hopes that Jones will have a shorter suspension. However, Daniel said that it’s hard to believe that Jones will be getting less than the suspension he received last year.
Waiting for four years to fight again is undeniably a big waste of time, especially for a very talented fighter like Jon Jones. According to Andre Brennan of Forbes, Jones may consider temporarily leaving the UFC and fight in another MMA promotion.
“Jones needs to be reborn, and not through his character, but through concurrent performances, and that can only be achieved through joining Bellator, Rizin Lmao, or Pride. Not fighting in a high caliber league will only drain Jones of his unique ether, embodied in malicious techniques rarely witnessed before. When Jones is 34, the UFC will have evolved once more, just as it had with its hunger for athletes who are media gravitons.”
As Brennan noted, the UFC could benefit by allowing Jones to fight in another organization that doesn’t work with the USADA. They could take a percentage of his earnings while actively maintaining his skills before he’s allowed to fight again in the Octagon. Serving a suspension doesn’t mean that they can deny Jones the right to make a living.
A fighter of Jones’ caliber will be a great fit in Bellator, which is considered the No. 2 MMA organization.
So far, there is no official information about what Jones plans to do while serving his suspension in the UFC. If he’s interested in fighting for another MMA promotion, Jones will need to get permission first from the UFC. Also, with the punishment he received, it remains questionable if he will be allowed to fight in the U.S. during the suspension.
[Featured Image by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images]