What began as a public push by UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones to make the long-awaited jump to heavyweight appears to have ended with Jones relinquishing his championship. On Sunday, Jones made the suggestion on Twitter that Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz should fight for the title and responded simply, "yes," when a fan asked if he was relinquishing the belt. He then tweeted the Latin phrase "Veni, vidi, vici" which translates to "I came, I saw, I conquered."
Jones first shared his interest in moving up to heavyweight after watching Francis Ngannou's destruction of Jair Rozenstruik at UFC 249. The two traded barbs on Twitter before Jones made it public that he was going to go to UFC and negotiate for a fight in the division most have been waiting to see him compete at. And those negotiations allegedly got stopped before they ever got started.
UFC president Dana White has since made several statements suggesting Jones demanded an "absurd" amount of money before clarifying that Jones had requested the same pay as heavyweight boxing star and former champion Deontay Wilder. Wilder made roughly $30 million in his most recent fight, a championship loss to Tyson Fury.
#ESPN Reyes vs Jan For the UFC light heavyweight championship of the world. As of right now, I got nothing to really gain fighting either of them. Let me know if you guys want to set up a day in 2021 for that Izzy fight. Hopefully you guys will be willing to pay by then.— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) May 31, 2020
On May 29, Jones tweeted, "Don't be a f---ing liar, my reputation has already taking enough hits. I don't need this bulls--- Dana. I never asked for [Deontay] Wilder's numbers. And how about since [Deontay] is making 30 million, we settle for half of that. Since you said I'm the goat and everything."
By Sunday, Jones had called for his release from his UFC contract in response to statements made by White at the UFC on ESPN 9 post-fight press conference. White said he "didn't care" about the situation, leading Jones to tweet, "You're talking all that big guy stuff about not caring, put your money where your mouth is and release me from that contract."