Dana White and Jon Jones have become embroiled in a public spat with the UFC president claiming Jones has done “a very good job” of tarnishing his reputation.
The pound-for-pound great and current light-heavyweight champion has spoken recently of his desire to move up to heavyweight and face formidable contender Francis Ngannou. Jones had also spoken of a potential super-fight with middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
However, in recent days, Jones took to Twitter to make it public that the UFC were refusing to market his move to the heavyweight division and weren’t prepared to increase his pay for blockbuster fights.
White then took to ESPN where he claimed that Jones was asking for “an absurd amount of money”. It has since been claimed that jones asked to be paid somewhere in the ballpark of $30 million, similar to what heavyweight boxer Deontay Wilder received following his rematch with Tyson Fury, something that Jones dismisses as false.
It’s interesting to just sit here and watch your boss lie to the camera like this. We never discussed any increase in pay. Immediately the conversation was that I already made enough. I never made a number offer. https://t.co/YYx4FMHeIs
— BONY (@JonnyBones) May 29, 2020
Following last night’s UFC Fight Night show in Las Vegas, White was asked about Jones’ Twitter tirade against himself and the organisation. In response, White claimed that the light-heavyweight champion can do whatever he wants but that being the greatest ever doesn’t mean he deserves to be paid more money.
“(Jones) had a great talk yesterday with Hunter, my lawyer, who’s really close to Jon Jones and likes him. They have a good relationship. They had a good talk yesterday. It is what it is. I really don’t care. I couldn’t care less, to be honest with you,” said White.
"I tarnished you? You’ve done a very good job of tarnishing you."
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) May 31, 2020
“He can do whatever he wants to do. He can sit out. He can fight. He can do whatever.
“Being the greatest of all-time doesn’t mean you get $30 million. Being able to sell does. Jon Jones has done a lot of things to himself. In one of his tweets, he was saying I tarnished him. I tarnished you? You’ve done a very good job of tarnishing you. I haven’t done that,” White continued.
You’re talking all that big guy stuff about not caring, put your money where your mouth is and release me from that contract
— BONY (@JonnyBones) May 31, 2020
“Hunter told him. You can come in and walk through the numbers. ‘I’ll walk you through the numbers.’ And he says, ‘I don’t give a shit what the numbers are. I want what I want, and that’s it.’ That’s not how life works.”
Following White’s comments, Jones branded the UFC president as a liar and has since asked to be released from his contract.