One of the UFC's greatest champions appears set to give up his title.

Jon Jones, the longtime UFC light heavyweight champ, tweeted Sunday that he plans to relinquish the belt and take time off from the Octagon. And sources told ESPN's Ariel Helwani that Jones is serious and that is his real stance.

"To the light heavyweight title Veni, vidi, vici," Jones wrote on Twitter, after noting in a separate tweet, "Bones out."

"Let me know if you guys want to set up a day in 2021 for that [Israel Adesanya] fight," Jones wrote, directing the comment toward the UFC. "Hopefully you guys will be willing to pay by then."

Requests for comment from the UFC were not immediately returned Sunday.

The tweets are part of an ongoing war of words between Jones and UFC president Dana White. The two have been at odds for more than a week following an unsuccessful round of negotiations for a potential heavyweight fight between Jones and Francis Ngannou. It's unclear if these tweets are part of the very public negotiations between both sides or an earnest statement from Jones.

Jones has adamantly denied White's assertion he asked for a specific amount of money. In one social media post Friday night, Jones went so far as to suggest the UFC release him entirely if his reputation causes the promotion to "undervalue me this much." He reiterated that point in a tweet early Sunday morning.

On Saturday at the UFC Las Vegas postfight news conference, White said that Jones has "done a very good job of tarnishing" his own name without any help from the company he fights for.

"He can do whatever he wants," White said. "He wants to sit out, fight, he can do whatever. He can say whatever he wants publicly. It's his God-given right in America. He can say whatever he wants. When he's ready to come back, he can.

"In one of his tweets, he said I tarnished his name. I tarnished you? You've done a very good job of tarnishing you."

White was, presumably, referring to Jones' checkered legal history. Jones has been arrested multiple times during his UFC career, on charges ranging from felony hit-and-run to DWI. He pleaded guilty to a DWI charge in his home state of New Mexico in March.

Jones, 32, revealed the Ngannou negotiations via social media May 21, claiming the UFC immediately informed him he wouldn't make any additional money to move up a weight class. This past week, White told ESPN that Jones asked for an "absurd amount of money," comparable to heavyweight boxer Deontay Wilder's recent purses.

01/06/2020 15:45:07
Tags: UFC


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