Jon Jones isn’t losing any sleep about when his next fight in the UFC will take place.
The former 205-pound champion has been embroiled in a very public dispute with the promotion over his return to action after he was initially expected to face heavyweight king Francis Ngannou later this year.
The spat with the UFC over his contracted pay rate has put Jones at odds with the promotion for the better part of the last year, and it doesn’t appear the two sides are any closer to striking a deal.
This past weekend at the UFC 262 post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White addressed Jones’ future while hinting at the possibility that this contract dispute could go on for quite some time.
“It’s up to him,” White said about Jones. “He can fight this summer, or he can never fight again. That’s up to him.”
On Monday, Jones responded, admitting that he’s certain when his next fight will happen but for now he’s enjoying some much needed time off.
“I’m really not sure when I’ll be fighting next,” Jones wrote on Twitter. “But some downtime after a decade of wins is a nice little change up right now.”
I’m really not sure when I’ll be fighting next, but some downtime after a decade of wins is a nice little change up right now. https://t.co/fi8XSLLidD— BONY (@JonnyBones) May 17, 2021
While Jones has been spending months bulking up to compete in the heavyweight division, he hasn’t set aside his issues with his current contract in order to book the fight with Ngannou. He’s gone back and forth with White through interviews and social media about his alleged demands, but regardless of what’s been said thus far, no deal has been struck to get him back in the octagon.
Jones’ most recent fight came in February 2020, when he defeated Dominick Reyes to defend his light heavyweight title. He then relinquished the belt a few months later after a spat with the UFC over his potential pay for a superfight with Ngannou, and rather than hold onto the light heavyweight title, he instead pursued the heavyweight belt as a title challenger.
“Impossible,” Jones answered when someone suggested the time off will make him lose relevancy in the sport. “My name will ring bells in the combat sports world until the day I die and after. My first fight back is going to be huge no matter when it is.”
Impossible, my name will ring bells in the combat sports world until the day I die and after. My first fight back is going to be huge no matter when it is https://t.co/KOgeurI7VC— BONY (@JonnyBones) May 17, 2021
Even with Ngannou expected to face Derrick Lewis later this year and former champion Stipe Miocic now expected to take on the winner of that fight, Jones doesn’t seem all that concerned about his own status in the heavyweight division.
By all accounts, Jones seems to be looking at the bright side of things for now as he waits to strike a deal with the UFC on his return to action.
“Honestly I’m a blessed individual,” Jones wrote. “My whole story is in God’s hands, I believe there’s huge things in my future. Things don’t always happen when we want them to.
“Sometimes I feel like my life is one big bonus, never imagine I would be in this position in life. I’m grateful even when things don’t go my way.”
Honestly I’m a blessed individual. My whole story is in Gods hands, I believe there’s huge things in my future. Things don’t always happen when we want them to https://t.co/v4nVE5dhFA— BONY (@JonnyBones) May 17, 2021
Sometimes I feel like my life is one big bonus, never imagine I would be in this position in life. I’m grateful even when things don’t go my way— BONY (@JonnyBones) May 17, 2021