Jon Jones warned 'he can fight this summer or can NEVER fight again'

Jon Jones warned ‘he can fight this summer, or he can NEVER fight again’ by Dana White… as UFC chief insists nobody will force ‘the GOAT’ heavyweight to make octagon return following rows over fight purses

  • Dana White believes Jon Jones’ future depends on how much he wants to fight
  • The UFC president fell out with the 33-year-old last year in a dispute over pay
  • Jones vacated his light heavyweight title and decided to move up a division
  • White insists he is open to making fights but can’t force fighter to make return 

Dana White has insisted he is willing to provide fights for Jon Jones but that his future depends on how much desire he has to return to the octagon.

The 33-year-old vacated his light heavyweight title last year in order to move up a division, and publicly fell out with the UFC president due to a row over pay.

However, White suggested that it is not money in the way of Jones competing for the first time since February 2020, but simply how much he wants to fight.

Dana White has said it’s up to Jon Jones whether he fights this summer or never fights again

The 33-year-old fell out with the UFC president last year as they had a row over Jones’ pay

‘There’s fights available,’ White said at the UFC 262 press conference. ‘They’re here. I’m going to keep making fights every weekend, doing fights. 

‘If Jon Jones wants to fight, he can, if he doesn’t, he doesn’t have to. Nobody’s going to force Jon Jones to fight.

‘He’s had a great run. He’s got an incredible legacy. I personally see him as the GOAT. Right now, you’ve got guys that are nipping at his heels like [Kamaru] Usman and some other guys out there. 

‘It’s up to him. He can fight this summer, or he can never fight again. That’s up to him.’ 

He was last in the octagon in February 2020 as he beat Dominick Reyes by unanimous decision

Jones’ last fight was a controversial unanimous decision victory over Dominick Reyes, with many feeling that he was lucky to be given the win.

That was his 14th UFC title fight victory, more than any other fighter, however it seems unlikely that Jones’ incredible record will make White any more likely to give in to demands.

In the past, White has made it clear that he and Jones have differing opinions over how much the fighter deserves to be paid.

He said: ‘Jon Jones and I have always had this. The stuff that’s he been through, to show up and think he basically (demanded) $15m, or $20m, or $30m, it’s crazy.

Jones was given a 15-month ban following positive drugs test after Daniel Cormier rematch

‘He can do whatever he wants to do. He can sit out. He can fight. He can do whatever.’

That was in reference to Jones’ issues outside of the octagon, which have resulted in multiple suspensions from the sport.

In 2015 he was suspended for six months after he was involved in a hit and run incident on a pregnant woman and fled the scene. 

White has hinted Jones could make his debut at heavyweight in a fight against Stipe Miocic

The next year he was given a 12-month ban by USADA for a doping violation after a urine sample tested positive for two banned substances.

Then in 2017 after his rematch with Daniel Cormier, he tested positive for an anabolic steroid and was banned for 15 months, with his win in the fight overturned and the official result changed to a no-contest.

If Jones does return to the octagon, it remains to be seen who he would fight. A massive clash with new champion Francis Ngannou seems unlikely while he and White continue to differ over fight purses.

In recent weeks, White has hinted Jones could face Stipe Miocic, in what would be an extremely exciting heavyweight debut. 

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