UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is 26 years old. He has been the champ for two and a half years and has already set a record for most 205-pound title defenses in the UFC. He has accomplished so much in his career at such a young age that he thinks he might not be in the sport much longer. In fact, he recently stated in an interview with a Baltimore radio station that he'd like to retire before the age of 30:
I’m 26 right now. I think a man can be in his fighting prime until his mid 30′s. Saying that though I would like to retire by 30, so a few more years.
In a subsequent conversation with Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie, the champ offered up more details regarding this career plan:
"I just want to leave the sport with a good head on my shoulders. I don’t want to be one of these guys that are taking fights way past their prime."
"I want to leave my legacy in a healthy spot," Jones said. "I want my legacy to be respected and I just want to leave on top."
He made it clear that this sort of declaration isn't a negotiating tactic to get more money:
"No. No I didn’t say that for more money," Jones said. "Right now, where I’m at financially, I never thought I would be, so I could honestly retire today [and be financially secure]."
Instead, he feels that his work in MMA will open up other avenues for him:
"I’ve had a lot of doors be opened through MMA and I just feel like there’s a lot of other business out there," Jones said. "There’s a lot of other business out there."
"I feel like its been fun. 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."
Jones will defend his title against Glover Teixeira next, but a date for the bout hasn't been nailed down yet due to the lingering effects of Jones' last defense against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165.