“I just want to leave the sport with a good head on my shoulders,” Jones told MMAjunkie. “I don’t want to be one of these guys that are taking fights way past their prime.”
The New York native has seen many of his athletic idols continue to compete past their primes for essentially no reason.
With all Jones has already accomplished in his short career, he will go down as one of the most successful fighters ever, regardless of how future bouts play out.
Jones is fully aware of that, and even if he’s still considered the world’s best fighter at 30, he believes continuing beyond that point would only tarnish his reputation.
“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.”
Critics of Jones’ initial statements believe he may be teasing retirement as a negotiation tactic to draw a more lucrative contract from his employers going forward.
The 205-pound champ adamantly denies those claims, saying financials have no barring on the situation.
“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].”
As the UFC becomes increasingly more popular around the globe, Jones’ star grows brighter and brighter with each passing day.
He has already managed to draw crossover sponsorships into the MMA world from companies such as Nike and Gatorade, and has previously voiced goals that expand beyond the MMA sphere such as modeling and acting.
Those opportunities are ones Jones has created for himself though his efforts in the octagon, and when he walks away from the sport, he’d like to reap the benefits of that work.
“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.”