It may be quite some time before we see Jon Jones fight again.
The reigning UFC light heavyweight champion has been incredibly outspoken recently regarding the issue of fighter pay after Dana White claimed that he had asked for an “absurd” amount of money to move up to heavyweight for a fight against Francis Ngannou.
Jones, however, remains adamant that he wasn’t asking for anything “outrageous” and it seems as if the pound-for-pound king is willing to spend some time on the sidelines to fight for what he believes is right.
“I’m not asking for anything outrageous, and I know we’re in a pandemic, and I know when you’re a multimillionaire and you’re asking for more, it makes you seem like this greedy person,” Jon Jones said on Steve-O’s “Wild Ride” podcast via ESPN. “I’m very aware of all of 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 are not in the position that they can say publicly, ‘I have a second job, I’m borrowing money from my parents.’ I know so many fighters who are living in the Jackson Wink MMA gym because they can’t afford to have their own apartment, and they’re UFC fighters. So this is sad.”
In fact, “Bones” even went as far as to say that he “has no interest in fighting in the UFC” until changes are made by the promotion.
“I don’t want to fight soon,” Jones said. “I have no interest in fighting in the UFC until I get paid what I believe I’m worth.
“I think it’s really powerful when you stand up for what you believe is right. I think eventually the UFC will realize that they’re being stubborn, will realize that they have a special athlete in myself, and I think they’ll eventually meet me halfway.”
At 32 years old with a 26-1-1 record, Jones is without question the best light heavyweight of all-time and many argue that he should be considered the greatest fighter of all-time at any weight. A winner of four-straight since returning to action in late 2018, a rematch against Dominick Reyes, or potentially a jump up to heavyweight was likely the next move for Jones.
Now, however, it’s anyone’s guess as to what’s next for “Bones”. One thing appears to be abundantly clear though and that is the fact that Jones isn’t considering backing down at this moment regardless of how that impacts his career inside of the cage.
“And 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,” Jones said. “I stood for the younger fighters.”
Long Island-based sports writer covering MMA, Boxing, and the New York Jets.