Jon Jones is once again the UFC light heavyweight champion. The MMA great and pound-for-pound stalwart reclaimed the throne in late July, when he removed Daniel Cormier’s batteries with a third-round kick to the head.
This win marked Jones’ successful return after a long stretch on the shelf. During his hiatus, MMA was finally legalized in his home state of New York, while the UFC made its long-awaited debut in New York City. As a New Yorker, you might expect Jones to be eager to fight in the state, perhaps even as a part of UFC 217, which is scheduled for November 4 inside New York City’s hallowed Madison Square Garden. Apparently, however, this is not the case.
Speaking to MMAJunkie.com earlier this week, Jones admitted that he would be willing to rematch his old rival Alexander Gustafsson – while Brock Lesnar serves his USADA suspension – but assured that doesn’t want this rematch to occur in his native New York.
“Every fight gets my blood flowing,” Jones explained. “I know how important it is to never underestimate anyone. I get up for every one. I think the Gustafsson fight is an option for us right now. We’re just going to wait and see. We’re weighing our options right now.”
“To be honest, I love being from New York, but my whole thoughts and dreams of fighting in New York – they’re kind of starting to fade,” Jones continued. “Looking at it from a business standpoint, it’s not a really good idea to pay 9 percent to the state of New York off the top just for fighting here. With 9 percent of every $1 million, that will add up real quick.”
“I realize people from all over the world are going to watch it, whether it’s in Vegas or Canada or wherever. It would have been great to be the first person to fight at Madison Square Garden, but now that it’s happened and everything … I want to do it eventually, but it’s not something that’s a dream the way it used to be.”
Would you like to see Jon Jones join the UFC 217 lineup in New York?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 8/9/2017.