According to light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, he took his shot in trying to negotiate a deal with the UFC for a heavyweight fight with Francis Ngannou – but he came up empty.
On Thursday, Jones – who previously called a potential showdown with Ngannou a “big money fight” – went public in tweeting about his failed attempt to secure a better deal. It started with him letting everyone know that he was in talks with the UFC.
Currently in negotiation with @UFC as we speak
About an hour later, Jones delved into how things didn’t go his way and reacted accordingly.
Before even discussing numbers, the UFC was unwilling to pay more for the Francis super fight / for me to move to heavyweight. Said I could possibly earn more in pay-per-view buys.
It’s been fun you guys, maybe I’ll see you all in a year or two.
Maybe when they’re ready to do better business I’ll come back, until then health fitness and family.
I should’ve worded that differently, I actually think these guys do great business. Right now things just aren’t where I want them to be.
News of the situation apparently wasn’t surprising to Ngannou.
In my opinion, the @ufc aren’t willing to make this Jon fight happens or at least for what it worth
When a Twitter follower suggested to Jones that he should still take the Ngannou fight because of legacy, he wasn’t too keen on that idea.
“Not in (this) stage of my career,” Jones said. “I could retire today. I’ve already done my job, I’ve given this company over a decade of entertainment.”
Social media trash talk had intensified between Jones and Ngannou for more than a week, leading to speculation that it could lead to Jones finally making his heavyweight debut, which he’s talked about over the years.
Jones, who has three title defenses in his latest reign as 205-pound champ, has options in his division, most notably top contender Jan Blachowicz. There are also rematch possibilities with Dominick Reyes and Thiago Santos, whom Jones narrowly defeated by decision.
Just last week, Jones – who avoided jail time in March after reaching a plea deal on charges of DWI and negligent use of a firearm – said he had a feeling his career was “about to blow up.” If that happens, it apparently won’t soon involve a long-awaited move to heavyweight.
Stealing a page from Conor McGregor’s playbook, Jones put fighters in his own class on notice Thursday.
“Red panty night for the light heavyweight division,” he tweeted.