Despite being considered by many to be the greatest MMA fighter of all time, Jon Jones’s great career has constantly been trailed by the “what ifs.” What if Jon Jones had not missed so much time due to suspensions and out-of-cage drama? What more could he have accomplished? The irony about this latest Jones layoff is that there is no hit-and-run accident, no picograms, and nothing that is really external to Jones’s own decisions that have led him to miss action for 15 months and counting.
That point could be debated by Jones and those who support his fight for an increased salary. It could be argued that it isn’t just Jones who is preventing himself from fighting but the UFC brass for not acquiescing to his demands for a pay bump.
However you want to frame it, the fact remains that Jon Jones could be booked in a fight tomorrow if he wanted to, which is why Dana White has thrown his hands up in the air and given Jones the space to call his own shot.
“Listen, that’s up to Jon Jones, whether he wants to fight or not,” White said at the UFC 262 post-fight press conference. “There’s fights available. They’re here. I’m gonna keep making fights every weekend, doing fights.”
This passive approach was not contrasted by Jones. Instead, when taking to Twitter on Monday, he matched Dana White’s listless energy on the matter.
“I’m really not sure when I’ll be fighting next, but some downtime after a decade of wins is a nice little change up right now,” Jones tweeted.
“Honestly I’m a blessed individual. My whole story is in Gods hands, I believe there’s huge things in my future. Things don’t always happen when we want them to,” he continued.
When one fan pointed out that his bottomless layoff could lead to irrelevancy, Jones swiftly rejected this notion.
“Impossible, my name will ring bells in the combat sports world until the day I die and after. My first fight back is going to be huge no matter when it is,” Jones wrote.
Jon Jones is currently 33 years old. In heavyweight years, time is still on his side, depending on how much he aims to accomplish in the division. His most recent fight was a unanimous decision victory over Dominick Reyes in February 2020 in what could be his final bout at light heavyweight. In fact, if neither White nor Jones decide to blink and awaken these comatose negotiations, that could prove to be Jones’s last bout in any division as long as he’s under contract with the UFC.
Who do you think will blink first? Dana White, Jon Jones, or will the Jones heavyweight negotiations remain in a deep sleep until death?