Jon Jones announced his move to heavyweight a long time ago. But time to announce an event came and went and it’s now all but certain we won’t be seeing Jones in the cage in 2022.
We last saw Jon Jones in the Octagon over three years ago. After another successful defense against Dominick Reyes at UFC 247, the former light heavyweight champion decided to give up the belt.
UFC’s least favorite reporter, Ariel Helwani, revealed UFC botched negotiations by not offering Stipe Miocic a raise to face Jon Jones and instead coming to the table with a ‘take it or leave it approach’.
“I think once they didn’t really come correct with an offer – and that’s really what happened here. It was like a ‘Hey, you wanna fight him, here’s the amount, take it or leave it.’ And [Stipe Miocic] was like ‘Uuuuh,’ and then they just moved on.”
“So now I think they’re gonna try to make the fight against Ngannou in March, and if they do that, who is Stipe going to fight? Is he going to be motivated to fight for way less money to fight a Ciryl Gane or Curtis Blaydes? I can’t see it happening.”
Dana White was asked about this at the UFC 281 press conference and was confrontational and unhelpful.
Timid reporter posed some questions about the future of the Heavyweight division but White had practically no responses.
Instead he focused on questioning the journalist and dissing Helwani in process.
So Stipe Miocic vs Jon Jones hasn’t come to fruition for 272 or 282. What’s going on right now is Stipe. I heard last week media was saying that Stipe might never fight again. What’s going on with Stipe?”
“Yeah, I don’t know. And that’s that’s that’s true, he might.” – Dana White responded.
“That’s true from negotiation you have with him? It might not… He doesn’t want to fight no more?
White responded: “No, I’m. No, I didn’t say that. You said that.”
“You kind of said that.”
White was argumentative from the get go: “Oh, I see where this is f***ing going. No, I did not say that. Yeah, maybe you won’t by. Maybe he will. I don’t know.”
The journalist wouldn’t let it go either and got another fabulous non answer from White:
“I didn’t say that. I said. But yes, that could happen. That could possibly be no, no, no, that could be anybody. Any of these guys could could never fight again.”
White was then confronted with the fact that it was Ariel Helwani who sourced this revelation.
“You know who said it? Your least favorite media member.”
Dana White snarked on: “Oh, then it’s got to be true.”
He did manage to get one nugget out of White – White agreed that UFC is now looking to book Jon Jones and Ngannou – at least in theory.
“Yeah, I think that Jon Jon Jones will be the next fight at heavyweight.”
“Well, hopefully Francis.” White said when prompted about who he would be fighting at Heavyweight.
White ended up even asking the journalist for his credentials. At which point it was revealed it was Stan “The Man” of the Menace and the Man podcast cohosted by MMA veteran Dennis Bermudez.
As is, it’s clear that UFC has a big problem with the heavyweight division due to the fact they can’t strip Ngannou. If they were to strip Ngannou that would effectively render his ‘champion’s clause’ to extend his contract void and he would become a free agent. This is one of the reasons UFC hasn’t stripped Ngannou now or prior to clash with Cyril Gane.
Ngannou came out late this week and confirmed there’s no movement in negotiations.
Since 2014, Benny A. King has been fully immersed in the world of combat sports. Starting with a blog about Greco Roman wrestling, Benny’s passion for combat sports has led him to explore various disciplines.