Jon Jones asked UFC president Dana White to release him from his contract as their very public battle over the negotiations for the light heavyweight champion’s potential move up to heavyweight escalates.
Jones used a long Twitter rant on Friday to respond to White’s comments from earlier in the day during a media scrum prior to Saturday’s “UFC Fight Night” in Las Vegas. White has claimed Jones is asking for an “absurd amount of money” to face Francis Ngannou — at the level of boxing champion Deontay Wilder — and has the text messages to prove it, but is choosing not to release them. Jones wrote that White should have his lawyer “release those text messages” and that he doesn’t “even make half of half” of what Wilder does. Wilder reportedly made between $25 million-$30 million to fight Tyson Fury in February.
“Don’t be a f–king liar, my reputation has already taking enough hits,” Jones tweeted Friday night. “I don’t need this bulls–t Dana. I never asked for Diante [sic] Wilder‘s numbers. And how about since Diante is making 30 million, we settle for half of that. Since you said I’m the goat and everything.”
The 32-year-old Jones is considered one of the greatest MMA fighters ever at 26-1. His only loss came via disqualification. He made a $500,000 base salary for his last fight, a Feb. 8 win over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247, but tweeted he ends up with around $5 million when all is said and done. Jones’ career has been marred by legal issues and doping suspensions. He went on to question whether those incidents in his past has made White hesitant to pay him more.
“If my reputation causes you to undervalue me this much. Just go ahead and release me from my @Ufc contract altogether,” Jones wrote. “I’m sure some promoter somewhere will be more than happy to pick me up.”
The war of words goes back to Thursday when White, asked about Jones’ next fight, told ESPN he believed the next fight for him would be a return bout with Reyes at light heavyweight. White added he didn’t believe Jones planned on chasing the heavyweight title after potentially moving up to fight Ngannou because, he said, Jones had never wanted to be a heavyweight before.
“For the amount of money [Jon Jones is] asking for, it’s not gonna happen,” White said. “You couldn’t be asking for a more absurd amount of money at a worse time.”
Jones responded Friday morning in another series of tweets, calling it “absolute bulls–t” that he asked for an absurd amount of money and asked White to “have the decency to be honest with the fans.”
“It’s interesting to just sit here and watch your boss lie to the camera like this,” Jones wrote. “We never discussed any increase in pay. Immediately the conversation was that I already made enough. I never made a number offer.”
White doubled down on his claim during the media scrum, saying Jones told the UFC’s lawyers that he wanted money on par with what Wilder — eventually sparking the champion’s retort.
“If Jon Jones wants to sit down and take a lie detector test about who’s lying and who’s not, we can do that, too,” White said. “I don’t want to go there with this guy. The guy’s made a lot of money. … If you look at Jon Jones’ track record, show me somebody that has the track record this guy has and has made the money Jon Jones has made. It doesn’t happen.”