UFC star Jon Jones appeared to be ready to vacate the light heavyweight title as he has come head-to-head with Dana White over a pay dispute.
Jones had been looking to fight with heavyweight Francis Ngannou but claimed the UFC did not want to pay him enough. Jones tweeted Sunday he was going to give up his title.
“To the light-heavyweight title — veni, vidi, vici,” he tweeted, using the Latin phrase of “I came, I saw, I conquered” attributed to Julius Caesar.
A follower had asked him whether Jones meant he was giving up the title. Jones replied, “Yes.”
White said Jones wanted “crazy” money, citing demands of $15 million, $20 million and $30 million and compared it to the type of money boxer Deontay Wilder was getting in his sport.
“He can do whatever he wants to do. He can sit out, he can fight, he can whatever,” White said Saturday night after a UFC event in Las Vegas. “Jon Jones can say whatever he wants publicly. It’s his God-given right here in America. He can say whatever he wants. And when he’s ready to come back and fight, he can.”
Jones has the longest unbeaten streak in UFC history – 18 fights. White also considered him to be the greatest MMA fighter of all-time.
In response to White’s comments, Jones said he never “demanded” anything from the UFC president.
“At no point did I ever demand anything from you Dana, I simply asked for a Super fight and asked to be compensated for it. You are the one who started talking negotiations publicly and showing the world how much you’ve been withholding from your athletes this whole time,” he tweeted.
Jones said he spoke to UFC lawyer Hunter Campbell.
“Hunter and I had a very respectful conversation, I love how you’re trying to paint this picture of me being some angry guy disrespectfully demanding money. And then bringing up my out of the cage affairs to justify under paying me by tens of millions for years.”
Jones last fought Feb. 8, defeating Dominik Reyes at UFC 247 and defending his light heavyweight title.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.