Jon Jones said he’s not going to fight in the UFC again until he gets paid.
The UFC light heavyweight champion and Dana White have been locked in a dispute for months over payments, with Jones demanding what he calls his fair share of the revenue from his fights.
“I don’t want to fight soon,” Jones said Thursday on Steve-O’s “Wild Ride” podcast. “I have no interest in fighting in the UFC until I get paid what I believe I’m worth.”
It’s unclear how much Jones actually makes from fights. White has not released the compensation amounts fighters get from the bouts and has no obligation to do so. Jones has not revealed what he’s made from the fights, though top fighters are believed to make millions, according to MMA Junkie.
“I’m not asking for anything outrageous, and I know we’re in a pandemic, and I know when you’re a multimillionaire and you’re asking for more, it makes you seem like this greedy person,” Jones said. “I’m very aware of all of this, but I’m also very aware that I have the voice and the platform to make change."
He continued: “Most of the guys who are doing the absolute worst are not in the position that they can say publicly, ‘I have a second job, I’m borrowing money from my parents.’ I know so many fighters who are living in the Jackson Wink MMA gym because they can’t afford to have their own apartment, and they’re UFC fighters. So this is sad.”
Furthermore, Jones said he is willing to sit out as long as it takes to make a change.
“If I have to have a bad relationship with Dana, sit out for two years, three years, to bring light to what’s happening, then these are the things people remember you for more than winning belts. I stood for the younger fighters,” he said.
The dispute began when Jones was looking for more money to move up a weight class to fight heavyweight Francis Ngannou, according to MMA Junkie. The two sparred publicly over the pay dispute.
White has recently said Jones can fight whenever he wants since he signed a new contract within the last year, according to ESPN.
“Being the greatest of all time doesn't mean you get $30 million. It's being able to sell,” White said. “[Jones] said, 'I don't give a f—k what the numbers are. I want what I want.’”
White added: “That's not how life works.”
Jones is widely considered one of the greatest UFC fighters of all-time. He is 26-1 in his mixed martial arts career with his lone loss coming against Matt Hamill in December 2009 in the UFC’s “The Ultimate Fighter” finale.
In his last fight, Jones defeated Dominik Reyes via unanimous decision.
Jones recently was arrested for a DWI in New Mexico. He expressed regret about the incident in his interview with Steve-O.
“I do feel good,” he said. “My last DWI has done a lot for me. It set me free in so many ways. It embarrassed me. It reality-checked me. I've never been on camera drunk for the public to see like that. It was humiliating, and somewhat of a bottom for me. And I'm ready to snap it into high gear.”