From being the first fighter to be solely sponsored by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to landing an impressive endorsement deal with Nike, Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones and his management team, of course, definitely know their way around a negotiation table.
At the young age of 25, "Bones" declared he will only fight until his brain is intact and his body can hold up and will not resort to TRT as he ages. While he's at it, the 205-pound kingpin wants to make as much money as he possibly can because, at the end of the day, he is a family man.
Jones recently caused a bit of stir when he stated that he would prefer not to fight Lyoto Machida again because of the fact his bout against "The Dragon" at UFC 140 pulled the lowest pay-per-view (PPV) numbers of all his headlining bouts. In a fight he labeled as "high risk-low reward," Jones feels in a Machida rematch, there will be nothing for him to gain.
At least not monetarily.
For Jones, though he fights for the love and passion for the sport, he is also looking out for his family's best interest financially, which explains his "business savvy" approach to the fight game, refusing to be a "broke athlete" when the day comes he has to hang up his gloves for good.
Make the jump to see what "Bones" had to say at the UFC 151 media conference call, regarding the comments he made about not wanting to face Machida again, as well as outlining his future plan to make as much coin as he can while he is still young:
"I want to focus on Dan Henderson at this point, and not worry about Lyoto Machida, but when it comes to a pay-per-view conversation in general, I fight for honor and integrity and I fight to be the best. I try to keep martial arts experience in mind as much as possible. At same time, I'm a 2012 warrior and I fight to provide for my family. This is a sport where we don't have a retirement plan and we don't have insurance for the rest of our lives, so the money that I make today is the money that's around for when I'm 80 years old and if I ever get sick, or, I have to pay for several colleges already because I have a lot of kids. Right now, I'm on this call with you reporters because you want to write the best story so you can make money. Well you know, I fight to make money, quite frankly. So, if I was to not be involved with my time, and be completely ignorant to my finances, and pay-per-view sales, and taxes, and investing, you know, it would be a shame. I refuse to be a broke athlete when I retire. So, I don't apologize for being aware of pay-per-view sales, and being business savvy. My whole reason for picking up MMA gloves in the first place was because I had a kid on the way. My original goal was to be successful in my parents' eyes. I was the college dropout between me and my brothers."
Jones went on to compare other major sports stars who, like himself, do what they do because they need to earn a living:
"Say the NFL, I'm sure they're really passionate about football, but they don't go out there because they love it that much, they do it because they want to be the best, and they want to provide for their families, so it's so much more than if you love it. If I didn't love it, I wouldn't want to be champion."
Jones is quickly becoming one of the, if not the biggest draws for the UFC, as evident by the impressive buy rates his bout with Rashad Evans pulled at UFC 145. He is also quite possibly one of the highest paid fighters with the promotion, once you take into consideration sponsorship and PPV incentives, of course, as well as his base salary per fight.
As his star continues to rise, Jones wants to make sure his bank account does the same.
Quite frankly, who can blame him?