Jon Jones was forced to withdraw from his first UFC heavyweight title defense last month. According to UFC CEO Dana White, ‘Bones’ tore the tendon that connects the pectoral muscle to the bone and will reportedly be sidelined for eight months.

His injury has led to a push, most notably from his longtime rival Daniel Cormier and interim UFC heavyweight champion Tom Aspinall, for the heavyweight champion to be stripped of his belt. Anthony Smith, who challenged Jones for the light heavyweight title at UFC 235 in 2019, weighed in on the matter.

Speaking at the UFC Fight Night 233 media day, ‘Lionheart’ stated:

“Jon Jones can do whatever the f**k he wants. Really. He’s earned that. He’s never been known as a guy that pulls out of fights. For whatever anybody says about him, he’s never strayed from a challenge. He’s always taken on the next best guy. And I think in terms of him and Stipe, I think both those guys should be able to do whatever they want. I think they’ve earned it. I think that they deserve it.”

Smith continued:

“Do we really want to miss another super fight? How long did we talk about Anderson Silva and [Georges St-Pierre], and Anderson and Jon Jones and Khabib [Nurmagomedov] and whoever? We’ve done this back and forth. We want all the super fights and now we have the opportunity for one and everyone’s calling for Jon to get stripped of his title. Let’s not f**k this one up. Let’s just let him heal up.”

Check out Anthony Smith‘s comments on the UFC heavyweight title picture below:

Fans reacted to Smith’s comments by praising the No.8-ranked light heavyweight. @ChubbyChub216 stated:


@YonkeyDonk agreed with ‘Lionheart’s comments:

“That’s my G.O.A.T right there making a great point”

@blondedmma showed respect for the former light heavyweight title challenger:

“And this is why I respect Anthony smith”

@ManchesterRemi noted that Jones is still ‘the guy’:

“Jon jones is the guy! Taking his belt to give to someone else just creates a fake champion! Let him heal and come back and once again show everyone why he is the guy!”

@Anderso18079198 simply responded:

“Beautifully spoken @lionheartasmith”

What has Jon Jones said about calls for his title to be stripped?

Jon Jones had remained quiet amidst calls for his UFC heavyweight title to be stripped. That changed on Monday as ‘Bones’ tweeted:

“I’ve faced the absolute toughest competition this world had to offer for 15 years now. During camp for a title defense I sustained a major injury that required surgery for the first time in my career. Now I have newcomers requesting I get my championship stripped.”

He continued:

“Zero wins over legends, zero title defenses and already thinking you can call the shots to Dana, that’s hilarious. In my 15 year career I have seen so many guys who are supposed to be the next big thing. There’s ever only been one Jon Jones, never forget that. 🤫”

Check out Jon Jones’ response to the calls for him to be stripped of his title below:

UFC CEO Dana White also made it clear that Jones will not be stripped of his title. Furthermore, he noted that Stipe Miocic will remain his opponent in his return from injury.

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Edited by Jigyanshushri Mahanta

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