Mike Winkeljohn: ‘In My Heart, I Think Jon Jones Will Sit Out a While’

By Tudor Leonte Jun 2, 2020


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It could be some time before fans see Jon Jones compete in the Octagon again.

In the last few days, the current UFC light heavyweight champion has been publicly locking horns with UFC president Dana White in negotiations for a higher payment for a potential superfight with heavyweight Francis Ngannou. "Bones" has even threatened to relinquish the belt and asked the UFC to release him from his contract.

While many fans believe that Jones's declarations are just part of his strategy, in a recent interview with BJPenn.com Jones's coach, Mike Winkeljohn, said that Jones may be willing to go through with leaving the UFC.

"I had a conversation on Sunday with Jon and he is serious about vacating the belt and walking away," Winkeljohn said. "He told me he has no problem sitting out and not fighting and just hanging out with his girls.”

UFC president Dana White doesn't seem ready to comply with Jones' requests, though. White recently answered that the Albuquerque fighter had made enough money to retire if he wants to. Winkeljohn believes that the UFC may be underappreciating "Bones," given his results and popularity.

"I know Jon sees what the boxers are making," Winkeljohn added. "I have to give great props to Dana White and the UFC for what they've done. They have given us jobs so that is a fantastic thing. But, they do have a monopoly so they have control of what they pay. But, when you are the best at what you do, you should get the money. I want Jon to get more money because I care about Jon. In my heart, I think Jon will sit out for a while. The fans will miss the best of all-time and he'll get back in there and fight again. I'm hoping the UFC sees his value and gives him some money.”

At the moment, the UFC champion is focusing on stopping vandalism in his adopted hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The 32-year old fighter is riding a four-bout winning streak since return to the Octagon in December 2018. After overcoming Alexander Gustafsson via KO at UFC 232 and Anthony Smith via unanimous decision at UFC 235, the defending champion edged Thiago Santos via split decision at UFC 239. In his latest Octagon appearance, he inflicted the first defeat in Dominick Reyes's career in the main event of UFC 247.

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