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Jon Jones explains why he vacated title, Anthony Smith lauds him for ‘noble’ decision

Jon Jones explains why he dropped the light heavyweight title, which former opponent Anthony Smith praised him for.

If he wanted to, Jon Jones could’ve kept the light heavyweight title, gone for heavyweight gold, and possibly become the UFC’s fifth “double-champ.” Instead, the 33-year-old “Bones” decided to give up the 205-pound belt before moving up to chase after bigger, heavier competition.

Looking through his ever-interesting Twitter feed, Jones never really explained why he came up with this decision, until Thursday evening.

Seeing how Jones didn’t want to hold up divisions like other ex-champions resonated well among his contemporaries. One of those who appreciated this gesture was former challenger Anthony Smith.

“I’m not typically the guy that’s got a whole bunch of nice things to say about Jon Jones, but that’s a noble thing to do,” Smith told MMA Fighting ahead of his Saturday fight against Aleksandar Rakic. “He could’ve held onto that title for a long time and gone up to heavyweight, and done his thing, and talked about coming back down or not coming back down and drag everyone out for a long time.

“But he didn’t do that. It was a surprise to me and I think that says a lot of positive things about where Jon Jones is right now in his life. And it was a cool thing.”

According to UFC president Dana White, Jones could be looking at an immediate title shot for his first fight at heavyweight.