Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White gave former 205-pound titleholder Jon Jones an opportunity to move up in weight to challenge reigning UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.
Jones, however, believes the promotion was lowballing him and balked at the proposed contract. What followed was a long (and somewhat messy) waiting game that ended with “Bones” asking for his unconditional release.
“Yeah, I’ve absolutely moved on,” White told TMZ Sports. “Listen, I put on fights every Saturday. We have a window where we try to build some fights and make some things happen. If the fights don’t happen within that window, we move on, and realistically, I mean I’ve been saying it since the beginning, Derrick Lewis is the guy who should be getting the title shot. He beat Francis Ngannou. He’s next in line, he’s coming off of great performances and that’s a wrap. We’re moving on.”
With Jones out of the picture, the promotion is expected to book the rematch between Ngannou and Lewis for late summer, depending on the champion’s timeline for return. “The Predator” dropped a tepid decision to “The Black Beast” in July 2018.
Does that mean Jones is gone for good?
“That’s up to Jon,” White insisted. “He could absolutely fight again at 205. He said he wouldn’t fight Stipe and now Derrick and Francis are fighting so we’ll see how that fight plays out. There’s nothing wrong with going out on top, either.”
Let’s hope Jones held onto some of this loot.