- Jon Jones is one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in MMA.
- The UFC is unwilling to pay Jon what he wants to move up to heavyweight.
- Recent Tweets claim Jon Jones’ UFC title may soon be relinquished.
Jon Jones and officials within the UFC are currently at odds over money. Jones feels he should be compensated more for a move up to heavyweight. Some in the UFC claim the amount of money Jon is asking for is unrealistic. Despite the conflicting reports, Jon Jones’ UFC title won’t be relinquished.
There are a lot of moving parts here. Today, we’re going to look at the dispute between Jones and the UFC. We’ll also look at what is likely to happen between these two parties.
Let’s get into it!
Jones and the UFC Continue to Debate Over Pay
Back in 2011, Jon Jones became the youngest UFC champion in history after defeating Mauricio “Shogun” Rua via third-round TKO. He’s since gone on to become one of the most successful mixed martial artists in history. Unfortunately, Jones now finds himself in a debate with the UFC over a pay increase.
This is all about Jon Jones moving up to heavyweight. Over the past decade, Jon has dominated the light-heavyweight division. Fans have repeatedly asked Jon to move up in weight, yet the champ has been hesitant to make the move.
That seems to be changing, though. A few weeks ago, Jones and Francis Ngannou began a verbal battle on Twitter. Both men expressed a desire to fight one another. Jon then approached the UFC and asked for more money to fight the heavyweight knockout artist.
This is perfectly reasonable. Jones is one of the biggest stars in MMA. Moving up in weight is a significant risk, particularly against a fighter as dangerous as Francis Ngannou. Dana White is refusing to budge, though, claiming the amount of money that Jon is asking for is absurd.
Now, Jon Jones is threatening to step away from the sport. Is this realistic?
Is Jon Jones’ UFC Title Being Relinquished?
The discussion of fighter pay is more prevalent now than ever before. Several of the top fighters in the sport including Israel Adesanya, Jon Jones, and Henry Cejudo have all complained that they are not being paid enough. The latter recently retired due to his pay.
There’s no doubt that Jon Jones is one of the top-paid fighters in the UFC. According to the champion himself, he’s paid upwards of $5 million per fight. Jones feels that moving up in weight to challenge Francis Ngannou warrants significantly more money, though.
It’s not entirely clear how much money Jones is asking for. Whatever it is, the UFC seems unwilling to oblige. As a result, Jon Jones’ UFC title may be relinquished. The light-heavyweight kingpin confirmed this on his Twitter account this weekend.
#ESPN Reyes vs Jan For the UFC light heavyweight championship of the world. As of right now, I got nothing to really gain fighting either of them. Let me know if you guys want to set up a day in 2021 for that Izzy fight. Hopefully you guys will be willing to pay by then.
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) May 31, 2020
This news spread like wildfire. At 32 years old, Jones is likely in his fighting prime. No one expected him to give away his championship belt willingly. In fact, many still feel this won’t happen at all.
In reality, this may be nothing more than a negotiation tactic by Jones. Relinquishing his title would mean losing millions of dollars. Time is precious as a UFC champion and the longer he sits on the sidelines, the more money he will lose.
Everyone wants to see Jon fight again. Fortunately, he has some extremely exciting options ahead of him.
Here Are Some Odds on Potential Opponents for Jon Jones
If Jon Jones is serious about giving his title away, it may be months before we see him fight again. He is clearly interested in super fights right now. There are some great odds available through Bovada for some of the big-name opponents that fans want to see him take on.
One of the most interesting matchups is the aforementioned bout between Jones and Francis Ngannou. At the moment, Jones is listed as the +120 underdog against the heavyweight. Ngannou is the much bigger man and comes into this bout as the -150 favorite.
Of course, Jon may simply be playing games with the UFC. If he decides to hold onto his belt, there’s a good chance we’ll see him take on Jan Blachowicz. The Polish knockout puncher is coming off a highly impressive win over Corey Anderson.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to see Jones listed as the -550 favorite over Blachowicz. Against any fighter similar in size to himself, Jones will be the favorite. Some feel that Jan has the power to dethrone the champ, yet he still comes into this bout as the +375 underdog.
Jones and the UFC are in the middle of a public spat. No one knows how long this feud will continue for. Hopefully, Jones decides to retain his belt, and fans are treated to more of his bouts.
Do you think Jon Jones’ UFC title will be relinquished? Do you think he deserves more money to fight Francis Ngannou? Let us know in the comments section below.