Jon Jones recently turned his attention away from a superfight with Francis Ngannou after revealing the UFC hadn’t seen eye-to-eye with him over the financial side of the deal, but he’s now reacted furiously to Dana White’s claims that he was asking for an ‘absurd’ amount of money.
“It’s one thing to come out and say, ‘I want more money,'” White had initially said on ESPN. “The amount of money Jon Jones wanted — first of all, in the light heavyweight division, [a rematch] against Dominick Reyes is the fight that makes sense. Is Jon Jones going to fight Francis Ngannou and then take a run at the heavyweight title? I don’t believe that. He’s never wanted to move to heavyweight before.
“For the amount of money he’s asking for, it’s not going to happen. He couldn’t be asking for a more absurd amount of money at a worse time.”
Jones soon responded claiming that White was lying about what he’d said.
“It’s interesting to just sit here and watch your boss lie to the camera like this,” Jones said. “We never discussed any increase in pay. Immediately the conversation was that I already made enough. I never made a number offer.”
However, Dana Wite has since doubled down on his initial claim, revealing that he has text messages of Jones asking for ‘Deontay Wilder’ money.
“It’s fun working out in the gym in the morning seeing tweets from Jon Jones saying I’m lying,” White told MMA Junkie. “We have text messages from Jon Jones. It’s not like I can’t prove what I’m saying is true. We have text messages from him – but I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to put his text messages out in the press. I could do that. If Jon Jones wants to sit down and take a lie detector test about who’s lying and who’s not, we can do that, too. I don’t want to go there with this guy. The guy’s made a lot of money – made a lot of money. If you look at Jon Jones’ track record, show me somebody that has the track record this guy has and has made the money Jon Jones has made. It doesn’t happen.
“It’s not like I’m out here on some ‘Smash Jon Jones’ crusade. I like Jon. I’m the one saying there is no debate. There’s no argument: He’s the G.O.A.T. No matter what you think of his last two fights, the three people that matter said he won the fight. The guy’s gone undefeated. He’s fought everybody. He’s fought all the best in the world despite what he’s been doing to himself outside of the octagon – going through legal battles, drugs and alcohol. All the things that have gone on with Jon Jones, he is still the world champion. I don’t know what else to say about it.
“I’ll quote him and what he had said to my lawyer. He told my lawyer he wants what Deontay Wilder was paid (for his most recent fight). I think it was $30 million, was what Deontay Wilder was paid.”
Despite White being confident that he’s in the right, Jones has again responded with an angry denial and even demanded his release from the UFC.
“Don’t be a f*cking liar,” Jones fumed on Twitter. “My reputation has already taking enough hits. I don’t need this bullsh*t Dana. I never asked for Diante Wilder‘s numbers. And how about since Diante is making 30 million, we settle for half of that since you said I’m the goat and everything.
“I don’t even make half of half of what Diante Wilder makes. If my reputation causes you to undervalue me this much. Just go ahead and release me from my UFC contract altogether. I’m sure some promoter somewhere will be more than happy to pick me up.
If you’re going to stick to these lies, I’m going to stick to defending myself. Please have your lawyer Hunter Campbell release those text messages.”
The situation is a clear example of why airing your dirty laundry in public is never a good idea and now leaves both parties at loggerheads with each other, but it’s nothing new for White, who has had feuds with multiple other major stars over the years.
However, with the UFC currently in a tough spot as it tries to get fully back up-and-running admit the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it’s an additional headache that he could do without.