Jon Jones Proved UFC Was Right To Not Give Him $15 million

Jon Jones UFC Hall of Fame
Jon Jones, UFC Hall of Fame induction ceremony Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Details regarding Jon Jones’ arrest early last Friday morning in Las Vegas surfaced Tuesday afternoon. The specifics of the incident were very disturbing.

According to a police report, Jones’ fiancée was bleeding from her nose and mouth. Jones reportedly pulled his fiancée’s hair because she tried to leave the room during a dispute with the former UFC light heavyweight champion. When police arrived to Jones’ hotel room at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, they noticed blood on his fiancée’s clothes as well as on the bed sheets.

Jones resisted arrest when being taken into custody. He also allegedly headbutted the front hood of a police car.

Prior to learning about these details, UFC president Dana White spoke to the media on Friday after the ceremonial weigh-ins and said “it’s not even shocking anymore.”

The list of incidents involving Jones are piling up. They have been for years. Jones was stripped of the UFC light heavyweight title three times, including when he held the interim belt. Jones was first stripped of the belt for a hit-and-run incident where he injured a pregnant woman in another vehicle in 2015. He fled the scene. In 2016, Jones was stripped of the interim belt right before he was supposed to headline UFC 200 in 2016. He tested positive for clomiphene and letrozole in that incident. After defeating Daniel Cormier for a second time, who he was supposed to face in a rematch at UFC 200, Jones was stripped of the belt in 2017 after testing positive for Turniabol, an anabolic steroid.

That was three strikes right there. Even then, the UFC still granted Jones an immediate title match each and every time he returned from suspension after being stripped of the belt. Fast forward to late 2018.

UFC 232 was supposed to take place in Las Vegas with Jones set to fight for the vacant UFC light heavyweight title against Alexander Gustafsson. However, a trace of turniabol was found in his system in Jones’ pre-fight drug test. Since the Nevada State Athletic Commission did not have enough time to look into the test result in time to clear him for UFC 232, the UFC moved the entire event to Inglewood, California since the California State Athletic Commission was willing to grand Jones a license. This gave birth to endless “picograms” memes.

And so not only did the UFC strip Jones of the belt three times and gave him a title match right away, but the UFC bent over for Jones and moved an entire pay-per-view event to another state. On just six days’ notice. Sorry, fans who made travel plans and booked accommodations in Las Vegas: Jon Jones matters more than you.

Things got interesting in the past year-and-a-half as there was some hype about a potential fight between Jones and Francis Ngannou. According to UFC president Dana White, Jones was asking for $15 million to fight Ngannou, which is half of what boxer Deontay Wilder makes.

With Ngannou now the UFC heavyweight champion, Jones kept pushing for a massive payday. He expressed that anything below $10 million is too low for him.

Due to disagreements on Jones’ payout, the fight was never booked. For the UFC’s sake, they were right to reject what he wanted. Just not for the reasons you think.

Jones just proved why the UFC was right to deny his demand of $15 million to fight Ngannou. The UFC would surrender a lot of money to someone who is not guaranteed to stay out of trouble. If the fight was booked and Jones won the belt, Jones would likely be stripped for a fourth time. No UFC fighter has ever been stripped of a title twice yet it has happened to Jones three times already.

The UFC has stood behind Jones and have been very generous by providing multiple chances. Above and beyond what is required, really, with giving him a title match in every return from suspension and moving an entire event because of him. The only other fighter on the UFC roster who the UFC would be this lenient for would arguably be Conor McGregor. Who is a much bigger draw than Jones.

Is it worth the headache for the UFC to even keep Jones at this point? That is ultimately up to White.

Jones has said multiple times that he has changed and improved and his legal battles are behind him. In a recent Instagram story post, he talked about becoming better again. Unfortunately, that could not be further from the truth. The UFC might want to strongly consider parting ways with Jones as he continues to struggle avoiding trouble.