Speaking to the media following UFC 262, president Dana White said that “nobody is going to force Jon Jones to fight” in the Octagon again.
White and Jones have been involved in very public contract negotiations for a potential showdown with UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. Jones and Ngannou both want the fight, but Jones wants more than the promotion’s offer of $10 million, with suggestions that he could want $30 million for the fight. With White and the UFC not budging on their offer, the promotion went ahead and booked Ngannou against No. 1 contender Derrick Lewis. It leaves Jones on the sidelines once again, and while he could potentially fight the winner of Ngannou vs. Lewis 2, that’s not set in stone, either.
Speaking to reporters following UFC 262, White said that it’s up to Jones if he wants to fight again. Reading between the lines, it sounds like the UFC has made him an offer which he declined, and at this point, the promotion has moved in a different direction with Lewis.
— Ryan Hobbs (@RyanHobbsMMA) May 16, 2021
“If Jon Jones wants to fight again he can, if he doesn’t he doesn’t have to. Nobody is going to force Jon Jones to fight. He’s a great run, he’s got an incredible legacy. I personally see him as the GOAT right now. You’ve got guys that are nipping at his heels like (Kamaru) Usman and some other guys out there. It’s up to him. He can fight again this summer or he can never fight again. I mean that’s up to him,” White said.
It will be interesting to see if the UFC and Jones can come to a deal. Although Lewis is getting the next crack at Ngannou’s belt, there is obviously still a huge appetite to watch Jones fight the winner, though White has already thrown Stipe Miocic’s name out there.
Do you think Dana White and Jon Jones will come to a deal so he fights in the UFC again?