UFC president Dana White and light heavyweight champion Jon Jones have had differences in the past but nothing like what’s transpired in the days since Jones went public with failed negotiations for a heavyweight superfight with Francis Ngannou. Both White and Jones have publicly accused the other of lying about what really transpired, leading Jones to claim he’s ready to relinquish his title while asking for the UFC to release him. 

Has this gone too far? Moreover, is Jones smart for tempting the UFC to release him? Dave Doyle, Nolan King and Farah Hannoun sound off in the latest Triple Take.


Dave Doyle: Is the UFC smart for letting things get to this point?

This entire escapade started with Jon Jones wanting to step up and take a superfight with Francis Ngannou. Jones, after years of teasing, was finally willing to not just step up to heavyweight but to do so against the most dangerous man in the division.

All he asked for was a bump in pay commensurate to the challenge. Instead, White not only shot down his request, but he did so in a needlessly disrespectful manner.

This episode has brought attention to the fact that a company valued at $7 billion, which has the financial wherewithal to create a venue on an island in international waters in order to keep churning out Fight Night-level events, drastically underpays the fighters who literally shed blood for their company’s profits. Jones is arguably the company’s second biggest pay-per-view draw behind Conor McGregor, but his highest guaranteed disclosed pay has been $500,000, a number which wouldn’t get even a B-level boxing draw out of bed in the morning, much less into the ring.

Jones already proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he’s on the short list of the greatest fighters of all time. He’s dominated his division as long as any other great fighter in history. If Jones and the UFC part ways, whoever won the belt next may as well have gotten it out of a gumball machine for all the credibility it will have.

The UFC, on the other hand, is risking losing Jones right after Henry Cejudo walked out, and at a time when Daniel Cormier has just one fight left. This isn’t 2007 when Randy Couture got caught in the company’s crosshairs. The company is no longer a scrappy underdog with a never-ending supply of stars. Sure, the UFC will continue making a huge profit with or without Jones, but did you start watching this sport to root for the promoter’s bank account, or did you watch it because you wanted to see the best fight the best? This all started because a guy who imports snow into the desert for his son’s birthday didn’t want to give his best fighter another dime to take on a huge challenge.

For Jones, right and wrong is what matters here. And the UFC sure wasn’t smart to let things get to this point.

Next page – Nolan King: Not for his immediate future, but it’s helpful for fighter pay as a whole