When UFC president Dana White told reporters after UFC 173 that Jon Jones was going to meet Alexander Gustafsson in a rematch on Aug. 30, he threw in a detail almost as a side note: Jones had not yet signed for the fight.
The manner in which the information was presented to the public was not lost on the UFC light heavyweight champion, who saw it as an attempt to put pressure on him to accept a rematch he wasn't overly enthused about contesting.
In fact, Jones said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour that he hadn't even heard of the Aug. 30 date before reading it online.
"I just kind of identified it with being a like strong-arm technique on their part, trying to get fans pushing for a fight and prematurely announcing a fight," Jones said. "It's not that I haven't signed a contract, I hadn't even heard that date before. I thought it was unprofessional, I thought it was a bullying technique, bully style, I don't know what it was. But it is what it is."
Eventually, Jones and the UFC sat down and hashed out their differences, one which ended up with the Jones-Gustafsson fight being signed, albeit with a Sept. 27 date and location which has yet to be announced.
While he didn't want to give away specific details on the negotiations, Jones indicated that as of now, his relationship with his promoters is at a high point.
"I think we are in a very healthy spot," Jones said. "We actually talked about being in contact more often and things like that. Instead of going through my managers to talk about things, we'll have a more open line of communication. I'm really happy about that. I feel like we're in a very open and honest place right now."