Jon Jones says he’s no longer the UFC light heavyweight champion while his ongoing feud with company president Dana White continues to get more tense.
Jones seemingly hit a boiling point following comments from White at Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 9 post-fight news conference. The two sides have been going back-and-forth in recent days, with the entire situation stemming from “Bones” looking for what White said was a boost in payment to move to heavyweight and fight Francis Ngannou.
White refused to upgrade Jones’ contract, and pointed to Jones’ history of outside-the-cage issues as something that’s hurt his star power in the sport. Jones didn’t take kindly to that, and again claimed White is lying to the public. He asked to be let go from his UFC contract.
Jones drew a line in the sand Sunday and said on social media that he’s giving up his 205-pound title and taking a hiatus from competition until the UFC pays him his value. Moreover, he suggested Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz should fight for his belt (via Twitter):
#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.
Bones out, when you see me in the streets just call me JJ 🤙🏾
To the light heavyweight title Veni, vidi, vici
The UFC has yet to acknowledge Jones’ comments and intent to relinquish the belt. A request for comment from a company official by MMA Junkie did not receive an immediate response.
For Jones, the issue seems to boil down to money and respect. He’s already asked to be let out of his contract twice if he can’t receive more payment, and appears to be frustrated with his treatment (via Twitter):
I hurt myself every time I walk out there and take a punch to the head and Not feel my pay is worth it anymore.
Jones’ comments got a reaction from fellow fighters, including Reyes, who many wanted to see fight Jones again next after battling to a close decision at UFC 247 in February (via Twitter):