Jon Jones continued to make public threats that he is willing to leave the UFC on Sunday, dropping a number of tweets saying that he will vacate his light heavyweight title amid a pay dispute with the promotion.
The drama began with Jones when he announced he was walking away from negotiations with UFC over a potential heavyweight fight with Francis Ngannou, calling the financial talks “unbelievable.”
Jones then got into a public dispute with UFC president Dana White over the executive’s claim that Jones asked for Deontay Wilder money (somewhere around $30 million) for the fight, which Jones said was a lie. White proposed Jones could take a lie detector test, while Jones called for White to release the text messages of the negotiations. Jones even told White to release him from his UFC contract if he was going to be undervalued in White’s eyes.
Jon Jones escalates UFC feud
Now, Jones is threatening to walk away from this light heavyweight title. He said he had nothing to gain by facing potential title challengers Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz, but mentioned the possibility of a superfight against UFC middleweight champion and past feud participant Israel Adesanya in 2021.
#ESPN Reyes vs Jan For the UFC light heavyweight championship of the world. As of right now, I got nothing to really gain fighting either of them. Let me know if you guys want to set up a day in 2021 for that Izzy fight. Hopefully you guys will be willing to pay by then.— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) May 31, 2020
Bones out, when you see me in the streets just call me JJ 🤙🏾— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) May 31, 2020
To the light heavyweight title Veni, vidi, vici— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) May 31, 2020
I hurt myself every time I walk out there and take a punch to the head and Not feel my pay is worth it anymore. https://t.co/X3BjGA9d02— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) May 31, 2020
ESPN reporter Ariel Helwani later tweeted the Jones’ threats aren’t hollow, and that he is serious about vacating the title. Of course, things can always change in these kinds of negotiations.
Jon Jones tweeted earlier that he is vacating his 205-pound title. I’m told he is serious about this and ready to stick to his guns. Now, can this evolve at any moment and change after a phone call or two? Believe so. But as of right now that is his real stance, sources say.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) May 31, 2020
Jones’ reign atop the light heavyweight division goes back nearly a decade, but has been infamously rocky for a man considered to be possibly the most talented mixed martial artist of all time.
He remains officially undefeated as a champion, but has twice been stripped of the title for a hit-and-run incident and failed drug test, and once had an interim title stripped as well. Jones is still UFC’s top official pound-for-pound fighter, though his most recent wins against Reyes and Thiago Santos via decision have been considered much too close for comfort, and even undeserved by some.
As Jones negotiates his way forward as champion with his past and the current situation that the sports world finds itself in, it might not be surprising he’s ready to leave his professional home of the past 12 years behind.
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