Despite only being 26 years old, UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones has already got plans for his eventual retirement.
Speaking to MMAJunkie this week, ‘Bones’ revealed that if all goes well he plans to hang up his gloves in just four years time when he reaches 30.
“I feel like its been fun,” Jones said of his career so far. “I’ve got a little bit more to prove, but I’ve also proven a lot already and there’s no need to do it after 30,” Jones said. “I think I’m a smart enough guy to be able to do a lot of other things.”
“I just want to leave the sport with a good head on my shoulders,” he adds. “I don’t want to be one of these guys that are taking fights way past their prime.”
To be fair to him, Jones has already accomplished more in his 26 years on the planet than even some of the very best fighters on the planet have managed throughout the course of their whole career.
He’s won and successfully defended his title six times, a record in the UFC’s light-heavyweight division, and taken a murderer’s row of top talent in the process, including the likes of Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, Vitor Belfort, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Chael Sonnen and most recently, Alexander Gustafsson in the process.
Even if he retired today, any discussion about who the greatest fighter ever in MMA was would have to include Jon Jones name.
With that in mind, retiring at 30 doesn’t seem so bad, but a lot can happen in four years so it’s hard to say whether he really will follow through with that plan once the time comes.
Certainly, he wouldn’t be the first high-profile fighter to make such an announcement only to backtrack when the time comes. Consider Anderson Silva for instance, who announced a few years ago tha he’d retire when he reached 35, yet he’s currently preparing for his latest fight in just a months time at the ripe old age of 38 and recently signed a new deal with the UFC.
35 was also the magic number for ‘Rampage’ Jackson, but despite now having reached that landmark he’s since stated that he thinks he’s still got an extra couple of years in him and recently made a successful debut in the Bellator promotion.