Jon Jones’ inactivity as champion touted as potential problem for UFC: ‘A lot of belts are being held up’

jon Jones

UFC play-by-play lead, Jon Anik has claimed that while Jon Jones’ status as the undisputed heavyweight champion is probably an ideal and sought-after situation for the organization in many respects, however, has questioned the activity of the Endicott native.

Jones, who snapped a three-year-plus Octagon hiatus just earlier this year in March, made his first Octagon walk since February 2020 with a UFC 285 win over former interim gold holder, Ciryl Gane – landing the vacant heavyweight crown with a dominant opening round guillotine choke success. 

Yet to be booked in the time since his victorious comeback, Jon Jones was initially targeted to headline UFC 290 during International Fight Week in July, in a title defense against the returning former two-time division best, Stipe Miocic, however, the pairing fell to the wayside.

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In turn, the promotion are expected to attempt to put together the title affair for UFC 295 in November, with the Octagon expected to return to Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Jon Jones has yet to be booked for his first attempted title defense

Planning his impending retirement from the sport off the back of his expected outing against Ohio veteran, Miocic, Jones’ status as undisputed UFC heavyweight champion has been commended by Anik, however, the Boston caller suggested that when compared with Russian heavyweight contender, Sergei Pavlovich – the heavyweight division would likely see an uptake in title fight activity if the latter sat atop the throne.

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“Divisionally, there are a lot of champions that aren’t available right now, or there are a lot of belts that are being held up for one reason or another,” Jon Anik said while speaking with Ray Longo on The Anik and Florian podcast. “Jiri Prochazka is going to be the next light heavyweight title challenger, but Jamahal Hill would be seemingly ready to go. He fought in January, several months before Aljamain Sterling defended his title against Henry Cejudo, right? But it seems like they want to wait and do Jamahal Hill vs. Jiri Prochazka.”

“Jon Jones is your heavyweight champion, right? Ideal in a lot of respects,” Anik continued. “But maybe less than ideal in a lot of others. Sergei Pavlovich would probably fight every three months. You know what I mean?” (Transcribed by MMA News)