The war of words between UFC President Dana White and light heavyweight champion Jon Jones seems to have reached a boiling point. White had denied an increase in pay for Jones to move up to heavyweight for a mega-fight against Francis Ngannou. After being turned down, Jones has been publicly frustrated with the UFC. Throughout the weekend, White had made remarks about Jones asking for too much and questioned Jones’s status as a draw. In response, Jones is ready to vacate the light heavyweight championship and sit out until he is compensated for his worth.
In a statement by Jones on Twitter, he said:
“Reyes vs Jan For the UFC light heavyweight championship of the world. As of right now, I got nothing to really gain fighting either of them. Let me know if you guys want to set up a day in 2021 for that Izzy fight. Hopefully, you guys will be willing to pay by then.”
If Jones vacates the light heavyweight championship, he will be the second champion to do so in a week. Former bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo vacated his championship and retired on May 25. Cejudo was also frustrated with not getting an increase in pay for his worth. White wasted no time announcing that the UFC already has a fight the works for the vacant bantamweight championship.
To the light heavyweight title Veni, vidi, vici
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) May 31, 2020
ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reports that “He(Jones) is serious about this and ready to stick to his guns. Now, can this evolve at any moment and change after a phone call or two? Believe so. But as of right now that is his real stance, sources say.” The UFC has yet to announce if Jones has officially vacated the light heavyweight championship. He is still listed on the UFC website as the light heavyweight champion and number one on men’s pound for pound rankings.