Reigning light heavyweight king Jones Jones (pictured) is MMA’s top pound-for-pound fighter and arguably the game’s most unstoppable force. However, that didn’t prevent the UFC from trying to bully Jones last month – that is, if you were to ask “Bones.”
On May 24, UFC.com announced Alexander Gustafsson had signed on to rematch Jones on August 30 in Las Vegas. Although, there was no mention of Jones accepting the sequel in the article.
It’s not like the UFC to write a piece on just one fighter agreeing to a bout, with a specific date lined up. Jones claims the UFC was trying to bully him into taking the scrap.
“I knew that them announcing the fight early was to get fans harassing me, pretty much. I just had to never mind the masses and do what was best for me and my family,” Jones said on this week’s edition of “The MMA Hour.” “I just kind of identified it with being a like strong-arm technique on their part, trying to get fans pushing for a fight and prematurely announcing a fight.
“It’s not that I haven’t signed a contract, I hadn’t even heard that date before. I thought it was unprofessional, I thought it was a bullying technique, bully style, I don’t know what it was. But it is what it is.”
At the time, UFC president Dana White said the reason Jones hadn’t committed to facing Gustafsson was because they were trying to iron out a contract extension with the most decorated 205-pound champ in company history. However, that didn’t explain why UFC.com published their piece.
In a likely attempt to further irritate his bosses, Jones proceeded to try and play matchmaker by requesting Daniel Cormier next instead of Gustafsson, the division’s consensus top contender.
Jones and UFC brass met earlier this month and came to terms on a contract extension. He will meet Gustafsson on September 27 at a yet-to-be determined location.
Jones didn’t reveal the specifics behind his new deal, but said he’s “extremely happy.” In addition, he believes his strained relationship with White is now the best its ever been.
“I think we are in a very healthy spot,” Jones said. “We actually talked about being in contact more often and things like that. Instead of going through my managers to talk about things, we’ll have a more open line of communication. I’m really happy about that. I feel like we’re in a very open and honest place right now.”