Jones wants the most bones ever on next contract
Jon Jones wants to be highest-paid UFC fighter ever with his next contract. REUTERS
UFC 177 is going down on Aug. 30 and it is supposed to have an epic rematch for a main event between No. 1 contender Alexander Gustafsson (16-2) and UFC light-heavyweight champ Jon Jones (20-1). Gustafsson has signed the bout agreement and is itching to get another shot at the belt that he was promised and has earned.
The problem is “Bones” Jones has failed to sign the agreement and many are wondering if the champ is having cold feet and ducking “The Mauler” Gustafsson, or possibly holding out and using it as leverage to get a lucrative new UFC deal done.
The first time these two met at UFC 165 in September of last year, the fight was close. Some, including UFC president Dana White, believe the Swede did enough to win. Although I had Jones winning on my scorecards, most of us can agree that a rematch would be something special and necessary.
Gustafsson recently took to Facebook and called Jones out for his lack of urgency to sign the bout agreement. "Jon 'Bones' Jones, 4 days have passed and still no signature from you on that piece of paper from the UFC," wrote Gustafsson. "As a champ, accept my challenge. You have something that belongs to me and I want it. The fans are waiting, so come on now, stop delaying."
White was acting perplexed in why his champ hasn’t signed on the dotted line either. At a recent media scrum in Berlin, White was asked what the holdup was. "You gotta ask Jon Jones that," said White. "I don't know. I don't like it, I don't like it at all."
The thing is White does know why there has been a delay. It’s a game. Currently, Jones and his agent, the real-life Ari Gold, aka Ari Emanuel, are trying to negotiate a new contract which will be the most lucrative in UFC history.
The UFC semi-announced a UFC 177 main event of Gustafsson vs. Jones 2 as a way to get fans psyched about what should be one of the biggest rematches in the promotion’s history, and to put pressure on the Jones camp to get a new deal done.
The problem is Jones has all the leverage. He just destroyed Glover Teixiera at UFC 172 back in April and right now he can sit and wait for what should be a new contract that will make him the highest-paid MMA fighter of all time.
Trevor contributes to MMASucka.com. Follow him on Twitter @TrevDueck