Earlier this year, UFC president Dana White and former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones were at odds.
The two men engaged in a very public dispute regarding negotations for a potential heavyweight clash between Jones and Francis Ngannou, with White claiming that “Bones” asked for something in the neighborhood of $25 million to $30 million to accept that bout. Jones responded by calling White a “f—-ing liar” on social media, while the UFC boss implied that the fighter’s personal issues outside the cage hindered his earnings potential.
As 2020 draws to a close, White and Jones seem to have made amends. Jones officially vacated the 205-pound throne in August with plans for a move to heavyweight, and things don’t seem to be nearly as tense between the Jackson-Wink MMA standout and the Las Vegas-based promotion.
“I think he’s in a much better place than he has been,” White said on the "SHOUT!" podcast. “I think mentally, emotionally, whatever it might be, he’s in a much better place. We had a really good phone conversation. He’s taking some time off.”
Jones has been working hard for a move to the big man’s division, with a target weight of 245 pounds heading into his first heavyweight camp. A date for his debut in the new weight class is currently unknown. In recent months, Jones did not disguise the fact that the potential options at light heavyweight did not excite him. That seems to have changed with this pending move.
“He’s excited to come back,” White said. “He’s excited to fight again. This is one of those sports you have to be 100 percent in, in every way you could be in, to want to do this. I think he’s there. I think that’s where he is now. … The guy is literally undefeated and has beaten the who’s who. Now he’s going to move up to heavyweight. If he continues to win fights at heavyweight, it’s hard to deny Jon Jones.”
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