'Up for grabs': Jon Jones 'vacating' UFC belt in bombshell move

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

"To Dana White and the UFC: I have loved every minute". Sounds like there will be negotiations for my next fight at heavyweight.

"Today I confirm that I'm vacating the light heavyweight championship".

The 33-year-old took to Twitter to make his announcement.

Daniel Cormier - whose running feud with Jones ended in that infamous no contest fight after Jeff Novitzky and USADA came sniffing - retired this weekend following his trilogy bout with current heavyweight king Stipe Miocic.

On Tuesday, he added on the social media platform: "Just had a really positive conversation with UFC". One of the fights he could be leaving behind at 205 pounds, though, is against the middleweight champ Adesanya, who has expressed the desire to move up and fight Jones when the timing is right.

He has hinted at making the jump to heavyweight for quite some time and has talked about potential fights against both Ngannou and Miocic. "All good news, the weight gaining process begins".

"Francis is definitely next", White said during the UFC 252 post-fight press conference.

But, at the end of the day, Jones's move up decreases the chances of this fight happening.

Although he vacated the belt, Jones says he is looking to move up to heavyweight. However, Monday's tweet indicated that there has been progress. Meanwhile, the idea of facing and possibly beating Jones, who many consider the greatest mixed martial artist ever, would only heighten Miocic's already impressive legacy.

Jones last competed in February, when he defeated Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 by a contentious - albeit unanimous - decision in Houston, Texas to retain his belt.

He has won a UFC-record 14 title fights, and he hasn't lost any fight since 2009 - but thanks to two doping violations, Jones has fought only six times since January 2015.

It goes without saying, and this is no disrespect to the likes of Dominick Reyes or Jan Blachowicz, but the heavyweight division is the place to be for Jones. But, the UFC did not want to pay Jones what he wanted to pay.

But if one thing is for certain, seeing his old foe Cormier earn the respect of supporters with his move up to heavyweight will undoubtedly fuel the burning fire in Jones' massive ego. I hope I made you guys proud.

"Avoid Stipe's right hand, I'm too fast, I'll be too strong when the time is right and have way too much energy". He even added: "Soon, and very soon, I'll be considered the baddest man on the planet".