Jon Jones says the desire to be at his best was the reason behind his decision to pull out of his just-announced UFC 170 title defence at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on February 22.
Just 24 hours after announcing Jones would fight Glover Teixeira at UFC 170, UFC president Dana White was forced to issue a dramatic backflip after Jones decided he wouldn’t fight.
“I told you yesterday that Jones will fight on Feb. 22,” White said, as reported by mmafighting.com.
“He won’t fight February 22. He just pulled out of the fight. He’s not fighting February 22.”
In response to fans on Twitter, Jones apologised to fans for asking for the fight to headline a later card.
“I want to do my job wholeheartedly and give you all nothing but my best. Please excuse the time I felt that was necessary,” he said.
I want to do my job wholeheartedly and give you all nothing but my best. Please excuse the time I felt that was necessary
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) November 15, 2013
Jones (19 wins, 1 loss) most recently defended his UFC light heavyweight title in September, when he set the record for most light heavyweight title defences (six) with a unanimous decision over the number one contender, Sweden’s Alexander Gustafsson. The bout against Teixeira was to have been another significant test for Jones, given Teixeira’s outstanding record — 22-2, which includes 20 successive wins and five since joining the UFC last year.
A date sometime in March has been tentatively scheduled for the UFC light heavyweight title bout, but no official announcement has yet been made.