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LOS ANGELES – Jon Jones isn’t a fan of today’s landscape of MMA management.
The 31-year-old UFC light heavyweight champion took to Instagram last week to air out his issues with the industry. Jones directed the message at young fighters who end up handing 15-20 percent of their fight earnings over to their managers.
At a UFC 239 media day Monday in Los Angeles, Jones (24-1 MMA, 18-1 UFC) delved deeper into the issue and why he felt the need to speak out.
“The reason why I came out and I encouraged fighters to think about what they’re paying management companies is just because there are a lot of fighters walking away from the sport with nothing,” Jones said. “At the end of the day, I just feel like everyone should be earning what they get. I just wanted to educate some of the boys.
“At the end of the day, true legacy moves are how you affect other people’s lives. I felt like if one athlete re-evaluated his situation and ultimately saved more money for his family then I helped. It’s about changing lives and giving back and that was my way of doing it. Just in a small way.”
While many factors drove Jones to write the statement, seeing how his brothers dealt with agents and managers struck a chord. Both of Jones’ brothers, Chandler and Arthur, play in the NFL, where the pay structure is much different.
“Having brothers in the NFL, you’re used to managers and football taking 1 percent, 2 percent,” Jones said. “In MMA, it’s common for managers to take 20 percent, 25 percent. We’re making a lot less money than NFL players. Something doesn’t seem right to me about that. Just to voice it and allow guys to think a little bit outside the box? I know that’s a win for some people. I’m grateful for anybody who had the opportunity to reassess their situation.”
Jones will take on surging contender Thiago “Marreta” Santos (21-6 MMA, 13-5 UFC) in the main event of UFC 239 on July 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card will stream live on pay-per-view. The prelims will air on ESPN with early preliminary bouts streaming on ESPN+.
News | MMA Junkie