Jon Jones will decide his own future even if that means never fighting again.
Over the past week, White and Jones have been at odds over a proposed fight against heavyweight knockout artist Francis Ngannou.
Initially, Jones complained that the UFC wasn’t even willing to offer him more money to move to heavyweight to face Ngannou and negotiations came to an abrupt end. White then countered by saying Jones was asking for an “absurd” amount of money that he later said was comparable to what boxer Deontay Wilder made for his recent rematch against Tyson Fury.
After bonuses were paid out, Wilder reportedly made around $30 million.
They continued to go back and forth in public statements through interviews and social media until Jones finally declared late Sunday evening that he was vacating his title while suggesting the UFC pit Dominick Reyes against Jan Blachowicz to crown a new champion. According to sources close to Jones when speaking to MMA Fighting, he was “serious” about his decision to leave the belt behind.
“Jon Jones is one of the greatest to ever do it,” White said in the statement. “The decision he wants to make regarding his career is up to him.
“The reality is that he’s made enough money from fighting that he’s now in the position to retire and never work again in his life.”
White has repeatedly stated that he wouldn’t cater to Jones’ demands for more money, at least based on the figures he reportedly asked to make for the Ngannou fight.
Jones has countered by saying he never asked for a specific number in regards to the potential move to heavyweight but the entire experience has obviously left a sour taste in his mouth.
It remains to be seen if the two sides will eventually allow cooler heads to prevail. As of now, Jones is still listed as the light heavyweight champion on the UFC’s official website.