Monday, January 24, 2022

Jon Jones Makes Big Change That Will Impact Ngannou Negotiations

Jon Jones and his management team have mutually parted ways.

Monday evening, Jon Jones’s former management team, First Round Management, both announced that the two sides have agreed to end their 11-year relationship. The firm was the first to announce the news via social media.

“After an 11 year journey as @JonnyBones management team, First Round Management and Bones have amicably decided to part ways. We are proud of him and the work we’ve done. We wish him the best going forward.”

Jon Jones soon issued his own public statement regarding the separation via Instagram.

“It’s been an absolutely amazing journey. Thank you so much for all the memories, and business ventures. Wishing the Kawa family and everyone over at first round management many blessings moving forward. Glad to be able to call you guys friends for life,” the post reads.

It is only human to take notice of the timing of this separation when considering these parties spent 11 years together. For this decision to be made right in the middle of what is expected to be the biggest payday of Jones’s illustrious career (and certainly the most public negotiations) is going to raise more than a few eyebrows and get plenty of folks talking and speculating.

First Round Management’s Malki Kawa made an effort to nip any budding theories that this split had anything to do with the Francis Ngannou fight negotiations by releasing the following social media post.

“Sometimes it’s best to just walk away. Glad to have repped the p4p best fighter in @jonnybones for the last 11years. No this had nothing to do with his Ngannou negotiations. Jon has been handling that negotiation on his own and has been as he wanted to speak for himself when it came to the last few fights, so no, sorry fans, you can’t blame me. We all agreed it was just best to start over. @abraham and I are working on a lot of major things at #frm and sometimes you just have to know when to say when.”

It’s understandable why Kawa would feel the need to issue this follow-up statement, but people will no doubt continue theorizing that the split is connected to the negotiations anyway. It’s hard not to when this was Jones’s final tweet while under their management:

“I never discussed wanting 30 million with you or Hunter @danawhite just wondering where you heard that number? Is someone speaking with you on my behalf or…”

Between the above tweet and the very public and heated negotiations between Jon Jones and the UFC, it would be hard for the outside observer to refrain from connecting the dots based solely on Kawa’s word. Jones was reacting to news of Dana White stating that he wanted $30 million to fight Francis Ngannou. He also implied that it wasn’t him who made this request. Mind you, this was only three days ago.

Whether this separation between Jones and First Round Management is directly connected to the Ngannou fight or not, this move will without question impact the bout’s negotiations going forward as well as every other fight in the light heavyweight great’s career moving forward.

What do you think? How much, if at all, will this impact the negotiations between Jon Jones and the UFC regarding a fight with Francis Ngannou?

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