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If Jon Jones wants to relinquish the light heavyweight title and walk away from the sport, that’s his decision, according to Dana White.
The UFC president issued a brief statement to the Canadian Press on Monday after Jones tweeted that he planned on vacating the 205-pound belt. Jones’ threat was the latest salvo in a public dispute regarding negotiations for a potential superfight with heavyweight Francis Ngannou.
“Jon Jones is one of the greatest to ever do it,” White said. “The decision he wants to make regarding his career is up to him. The reality is that he’s made enough money from fighting that he’s now in the position to retire and never work again in his life.”
White’s statement bears some resemblance to remarks he made about Conor McGregor after the Irish star earned in the neighborhood of $100 million to box Floyd Mayweather in August 2017.
Money appears to be at the root of the issues between Jones and White. The UFC boss claimed that “Bones” demanded a Deontay Wilder payday — around $25 to $30 million — to fight Ngannou. Jones responded that he never provided a specific number, only that he wanted a new deal for the added risk of moving up in weight. Things have only escalated since then, as Jones wasn’t pleased with White’s remarks at the UFC on ESPN 9 post-fight press conference Saturday.
Jones’ attention has been elsewhere more recently. He took to the streets to stop vandalism in Albuquerque, New Mexico, early Monday morning during the George Floyd protests in the city and then assisted local businesses with clean-up and repairs during the day.
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