Jon Jones may have deleted his tweet asking for a UFC release, but the thought remains firmly in his mind.
As Jon Jones’s negotiations with the UFC for a superfight continue their tense and rocky start, the former light heavyweight kingpin believes that everything would be going much smoother if he were in another association. Contrary to common public perception, Jones thinks that other major MMA promotions are just as capable of meeting his number as the UFC is (transcription via Mike Bohn).
“That’s the main problem about my situation currently,” Jones said of being stuck in a UFC contract on the “Steve-O’s Wild Ride!” podcast. “In any other professional, if you’re unhappy with the way you’re being treated or the way you’re being paid or whatever, you can just take your sh*t and leave and go to the next boss and see if they value you more. In my situation I would be forced to retire from fighting completely unless I wanted to coach or own a gym. My hands are tied.
“I do believe wholeheartedly that the companies that own Bellator and these other leagues do have the same financial backing as the UFC had. And I do believe having Jon Jones be the new face of your promotion, especially today when I’m really making an effort for the first time to get my sh*t somewhat together. … I do think right now is a good time for any company to have me and my goal is to be an asset to any company that I’m a part of. And I’ve got a feeling that if I were able to get out of my UFC contract, I would be huge for another company.”
Jones Cites Icy Relationship With Dana White As Another Reason To Part Ways
If Jones were to be released from his UFC contract, not only would he be able to earn more money, he believes, but he’d be able to work in a more amicable environment as opposed to what he considers to be the contentious one he shares with UFC President Dana White
“I just wish my relationship with Dana wasn’t what it is. I get that you’ve got to make these hundreds of millions of dollars off me, but if you don’t like me anymore, if you flat out don’t like me. I don’t feel like he actually likes me,” Jones said. “I’ve never had whiskey night and dinners and sh*t like that. I don’t think I’m his favorite person and I think it’s very clear when you watch one of his interviews come up.
“My point is: If that’s what it is and it has got to a point of being personal, then I would much just rather work for a company where I felt like I’m home when I go to work. I do have a great relationship with the UFC staff, it’s just a weird thing when you feel like they don’t want you there.”
Being that Jones has essentially grown up right before the eyes of all UFC staff and fans, it’s interesting that he feels such a cold relationship with Dana White. The fridgidness of their relationship could be related to all the controversies and suspensions that Jones has endured over the years, which has cost the UFC and Jones both a lot of money.
That said, if the UFC were unwilling to release Jon Jones after a hit-and-run collision with an impregnated woman’s vehicle among a litany of other issues, it’s hard to imagine they’d let him go when he’s fit and free to make them big bucks in a superfight against Francis Ngannou, even if Jones himself feels underpaid in that equation.
Do you think there’s any way the UFC would release Jon Jones?