Jon Jones finds himself in limbo once again as he works on finances with the UFC for a proposed heavyweight title fight with newly crowned champion Francis Ngannou.
Jones, who is widely regarded as the greatest fighter in the history of the sport, encountered a similar issue with promotion last year when the heavyweight game first surfaced. However, Ngannou is now the champion and Jones is officially a member of the UFC heavyweight division. It makes more sense than ever to book the massive fight right now, but the UFC is already playing the ball hard.
Earlier this week, Jones shared his frustrations with the UFC and publicly called for his release. Jones is trying to lock in a bigger salary to challenge Ngannou because it is the most dangerous fight he has ever fought in his career. Ngannou is a massive heavyweight and he just picked up a knockout victory over the greatest consensus heavyweight champion of all time, Stipe Miocic, at UFC 260 last month (highlights HERE).
It’s unclear exactly how much money Jones needs to sign on the dotted line, but he’s going to take his time establishing his value for a business he helped build. In fact, Jones is willing to drag his relationship with the UFC and Dana White through the mud to pave the way for young fighters on the rise.
“I’m not asking for anything outrageous and I know we are in a pandemic and I know when you are a multimillionaire and you ask for more it makes you sound like that greedy person and I am aware of that all of it,” a said Jones on “Steve-O’s Wild Ride! »Podcast. “But I’m also aware that I have the voice and the platform to make change. Most guys who do the worst can’t say publicly, “I have a second job, I am borrowing money from my parents.” I know so many guys who live in Jackson’s MMA gym because they can’t afford to live in their own apartment, and they’re UFC fighters. So it’s sad.
“If I have to have a bad relationship with Dana (White), sit down for two years, three years to shed some light on what’s going on, then these are the things people remember about you more than earning belts. To defend the young fighters.
While Jones is confident that the UFC will eventually book Ngannou’s fight, the all-time great is ready to jump ship if it comes down to it. Unfortunately, Jones is under contract and cannot test his worth in another promotion at this time. This left the former UFC champion in limbo.
“This is the main problem with my situation right now,” Jones said. “In any other professional, if you’re not happy with the way you’re treated or the way you’re paid or whatever, you can just take your shit and go and go see the next boss and see. if he likes you more. In my situation, I would be forced to withdraw from combat altogether unless I wanted to train or own a gym. My hands are tied.
“I sincerely believe that the companies that own Bellator and those other leagues have the same financial support as the UFC. And I believe Jon Jones is the new face of your promotion, especially today when I’m really making an effort for the first time to put my shit together a little bit. … I think now is the time for any business to have me and my goal is to be an asset to any business I’m a part of. And I have a feeling that if I could get out of my UFC contract, I would be huge for another company. I just wish my relationship with Dana wasn’t what it is. I understand that you have to earn these hundreds of millions of dollars on me, but if you don’t love me anymore, if you don’t love me completely. I don’t feel like he really loves me. I’ve never had a whiskey night and dinners and shit like this. I don’t think I’m his favorite person and I think it’s very clear when you watch one of his interviews happen.
“What I mean is if that’s what it is and it’s gotten to a point of being personal, then I’d much rather work for a company where I feel at home when I’m going to work. I have a great relationship with the UFC staff, it’s just a weird thing when you feel like they don’t want you there.
Jones, who has invested his time and trained to reach heavyweight level, is set to make his debut against Ngannou later this year. It would arguably be the biggest test of his career and a fight that could take Ngannou from heavyweight champion to UFC superstar. With all of that at stake, it looks like the UFC will eventually give in and meet Jones somewhere in the middle.
“The UFC will continue whether I fight or not,” Jones said. “I have nothing to lose in the position I am in now. I don’t want to fight soon. I have no interest in fighting in the UFC until I get paid what I think I’m worth. … I think it’s really powerful to stand up for what you think is right, and I think the UFC will eventually realize that they are stubborn, they will realize that they have a special athlete in me and i think they will meet me finally halfway.