Jon Jones Won’t Fight Again Unless The UFC Pay Him His Worth
Jon Jones will not step inside the Octagon again unless he is paid what he is asking for. The UFC light heavyweight champion has been very public about his criticism of Dana White and the UFC over fighter pay in the past few weeks. After failed negotiations for a potential move to heavyweight to fight Francis Ngannou, the 32-year-old has suggested that we could see him vacate his title, or even retire.
“I got nothing to lose being the position I’m in right now,” Jones said. “No, I don’t want to fight soon. I have no interest in fighting in the UFC until I get paid what I believe I’m worth. A lot of fans will continue to watch the UFC and support the UFC and I have no problem with that. I just ordered the last pay-per-view myself.
“But I think it’s really powerful when you stand up for what you believe is right. I think that eventually, the UFC will realise that they’re being stubborn. They’ll realise they do have a special athlete in myself. I think they’ll eventually meet me halfway.”
During their back and forth on social media, Dana had claimed that Jones was asking for an “impractical” amount of money. ‘Bones’ however, has denied this and also accused the UFC of not paying some fighters enough money for them to live off.
“I’m not asking for anything outrageous. I know we’re in a pandemic and I know when you’re a multi-millionaire and you’re asking for more it makes you seem like this greedy person and all this type of things. I’m very aware of all this. But I’m also very aware that I have the voice and the platform to make change.
“Most of the guys who are doing the absolute worst [financially] are not in a position that they could say publicly, ‘I have a second job, I’m borrowing money from my parents.’ I know so many fighters that are living in the Jackson’s MMA gym because they can’t afford to have their own apartment and they’re UFC fighters. This is sad.”
Although Jones understands the risk of fans remembering him for all the wrong reasons, he made it clear that he is standing his ground because he’s in a position where he can do so.
“If I have to have a bad relationship with Dana, sit out for two years, three years, to bring light to what’s happening, then these are the things people remember you for more than winning belts,” he said.
Jones and Dana have often clashed in the past and the 205lbs champion thinks it’s clear that the UFC president doesn’t like him.
“I just wish my relationship with Dana wasn’t the way that it is,” Jones said. “It’s like I get that you want to make these hundreds of millions of dollars off me, but if you don’t like me anymore, you flat out don’t like me. You could easily say what you want to say, but I don’t feel like he actually likes me. I’ve never had whiskey night and dinners and s*** like that. I don’t think I’m his favourite person.
“I think it’s really clear when you watch one of his interviews when I come up and my point is if that’s what it is, if this has gotten to a place of being personal, then I would just much rather work for a company where I felt like I went home. I’m home when I go to work. I do have great relationships with the UFC staff. It’s just a weird feeling when you feel like they don’t want you there.”
Although Jones is hopeful of fighting again, it does seem unlikely it will happen anytime soon. ‘Bones’ explained that he’s in a tough spot and claimed that he would be ‘forced to retire’ if things don’t change.
“That’s the most messed up thing about my situation currently,” he explained. “In any other profession, if you’re unhappy with the way you’re being treated or the way you’re being paid or whatever, you can just take your s*** and leave and go to the next boss and see if they value you more.
“In my situation, I would be forced to retire from fighting completely unless I wanted to coach or run a gym. My hands are tied.”
Do you think Jon Jones and Dana White will settle their differences anytime soon?