One of the UFC’s biggest stars is ready to wait a long time before re-entering the Octagon amid a pay dispute with the promotion.
Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is prepared to take a 2-3 year hiatus if it means getting what he wants as he publicly pushes UFC president Dana White for better compensation, the fighter said during an appearance on the “Wild Ride! with Steve-O” podcast.
From MMA Junkie:
“I don’t want to fight soon,” Jones said. “I have no interest in fighting in the UFC until I get paid what I believe I’m worth.”
“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.”
Jones later said he is using his stand against the UFC to bring attention to low pay for many of the promotion’s lesser-known fighters, saying he knows UFC fighters living out of gyms because they can’t afford an apartment.
The champion’s most recent fight was a decision win against Dominick Reyes in February. His dispute with the UFC began during talks over a potential superfight against heavyweight Francis Ngannou, which led to public sniping between White and Jones.
The fighter has gone as far as saying he will vacate his own light heavyweight belt, and now he’s apparently ready to walk away from the UFC for years.
Many fighters calling for better pay from UFC
Jones is one of several MMA fighters that have either spoken out or hung up their gloves over perceived lowballing from the UFC. Former dual champion Henry Cejudo announced his retirement at the age of 33 in May, a move many believed was a negotiation ploy. Conor McGregor later made a similar move. Other fighters, including Curtis Blaydes, Paige VanZant, Cub Swanson, have said UFC could do a lot better with fighter compensation.
Welterweight star Jorge Masvidal has been among the most visible critics of the UFC’s pay. He reportedly turned down an offer to challenge welterweight champion Kamaru Usman because the UFC elected to not offer any more money than the amount he received for his last fight, the BMF title fight against Nate Diaz at UFC 244.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Masvidal said he still plans to fight this year, but he won’t accept being underpaid.
From MMA Junkie:
“Yeah I’m gonna fight this year,” Masvidal said. “God willing, I’m gonna fight this year. What’s not gonna happen is I’m not gonna be played or underpaid, that’s for sure. I have a value, a formula we’ve come up with for what I’m worth, and that comes off 16 years of doing this, of seeing the field in and out. I’m not some rookie, I’m not some guy challenging for the title for the first time in my life.
“I’ve been in this position before in different organizations and stuff and we know how to calculate what I bring in and I want a fair share of what I bring in. … It’s about how much I want to receive from the pay-per-view, how much share I want from the PPV, that’s one of the many things I’m fighting about. I don’t feel that that cut is fair and I don’t agree with it.”
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