Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Jon Jones understands what business is like in the mixed martial arts (MMA) industry. When you're the victor you get the spoils. When you're not ... well, you get a visit from men in suits.
That's why "Bones" sent a tip of the cap to reigning featherweight champion Conor McGregor for doing what he believes is the right thing ahead of UFC 200, even if it costs "Notorious" a record-breaking payday and the right to hold the 145-pound title.
From MMA Fighting:
"Hats off to him for standing up for what he believes is right. At the end of the day, business is business, and the guy obviously has respect for himself and his talents. Fights like this will help fighters in the future. So, I respect his balls. I respect his willingness to fight for what is right. Conor knows what he's doing. Like I said, I believe he'll be back. Conor has made a lot of money, so I'm sure he's in a position right now where he doesn't need to jump up and fight at the next event. I'm sure he can afford to take a long time off, so yeah, he'll be back."
Until then, the featherweight title will go to one of these two men.
McGregor walked away from combat sports earlier this week, abruptly retiring on Twitter. There were rumors of a financial standoff with his employers; however, UFC President Dana White insists there is (still) no rift and the decision to cancel the July 9 headliner with Nate Diaz stemmed from media obligations.
Or lack thereof.
No telling if and when McGregor will return, but it sounds like he will have a powerful ally when he does.