UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is now no longer tied to UFC 170 this February, UFC president Dana White announced prior to a press conference Thursday.
Earlier reports had Jones defending his belt against Glover Teixeira at the February 22 card from Las Vegas.
Champion Jon Jones has pulled out of his just-announced UFC light heavyweight title fight against Glover Teixeira, company president Dana White said Thursday night.
The pay-per-view event, UFC 170, is set for Feb. 22 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The bout was initially announced for UFC 169 on Feb. 1, but White later acknowledged no deal had been finalized for that date before announcing the fight’s cancellation Thursday.
When asked if Jones was injured, Dana responded, “No.”
“He won’t fight Feb. 22,” White said. “It might be March now.”
Jones set the UFC record for consecutive light heavyweight title defenses in September, defeating Alexander Gustafsson via unanimous decision for his sixth defense.
The bout was extremely close, which caused some speculation the UFC would book Jones and Gustafsson to an immediate rematch. White told ESPN.com in October, however, that Jones personally requested to fight Teixeira next.
Jones, expecting to hear it from his “haters,” addressed the decision.
“I want to do my job wholeheartedly and give you all nothing but my best,” he wrote. “Please excuse the time I felt that was necessary.”
In response to someone saying he was “scared,” Jones replied “I understood this would be coming.”
He reiterated that plans are still in place to face the Brazilian in early 2014.