Dana White goes to another round with the “best of all time”.
The UFC president intensified his feud with light heavyweight champion Jon Jones on Saturday, not so subtly referring to the 32-year-old’s criminal record, while declaring that the MMA legend was a mediocre draw at the box office. The public dispute between White and Jones was sparked by failed negotiations for a fight with No. 2 heavyweight Francis Ngannou.
“In one of his tweets, he said I tarnished his name,” White said at a press conference. “Did I tarnish you? You’ve done a very good job of fogging up. “
Jones, who White has repeatedly called the best fighter in the history of the sport, has been stripped of titles three times during his career. In 2012 Jones was arrested for DWI. In 2015, he was arrested after a hit and run. In 2017, he received a 15-month suspension for testing positive for a prohibited substance. This March, he pleaded guilty to a DWI charge.
Jones remained the UFC’s most dominant force, but unquestionably wounded his legacy and appeal. White told ESPN that Jones, who recently fought in February, allegedly wants an “absurd amount of money” for his next fight, comparable to former heavyweight boxing champion Deontay Wilder.
“Being the best of all time doesn’t mean you get $ 30 million. You can sell,” said White. “[Jones] He said, “I don’t give f-k what the numbers are. I want what I want.”
“This is not how life works.”
Jones (26-1) denied White’s claim and invited the UFC president to release him from his contract.
“Don’t be a liar,” Jones tweeted. “My reputation has already been hit hard enough. I don’t need these bulls, Dana. Never asked [Wilder] numbers. How about since [Wilder] is making $ 30 million, we settle for half of that. Like you said i’m the [greatest of all time] and all.
“You’re talking about all those important things you don’t care about, put your money where your mouth is and free me from that contract.”
Jones’s anger is due in part to not receiving additional compensation to move up in a weight class to fight Ngannou.
“At no time did I demand anything of you, Dana, I just asked for a great fight and asked for compensation,” Jones wrote. “You were the one who started talking about negotiations publicly and showing the world how much you’ve been hiding from your athletes all this time.”
“Hunter and I had a very respectful conversation, I love how you try to paint this picture of me as an angry guy who disrespectfully demands money. And then take my affairs out of the cage to justify getting paid in the tens of millions over the years.”
White seems willing to call Jones a fake.
“He can do whatever he wants,” said White. “He wants to sit down, fight, he can do anything. You can say what you want publicly. It is your God-given right in America. He can say whatever he wants. When you’re ready to go back, you can do it. “