There has been quite the public spat between Dana White and Jon Jones recently. It started when Jones demanded adequate compensation to fight Francis Ngannou for the heavyweight title.
After going back-and-forth several times on social media and interviews, Dana White recently confirmed that it will be Derrick Lewis who will get the shot at the title first. The heavyweight championship bout will go down sometime during the summer this year.
“Don’t get excited people, I’m not fighting Stipe,” one of the tweets read.
“I’m sick of hearing the same sh*t, you’re not a big enough star, you don’t bring in enough paper view. I’m ready to fight fights that will bring in the pay-per-view,” Jon Jones said in another.
The news obviously reached the ears of Dana White. In a recent interview with Jake Asman of SportsMap Radio, the UFC president clarified the current situation regarding the heavyweight division.
He said that whether Jon Jones wants to fight at heavyweight or not is irrelevant at the moment. If he does not fight Stipe Miocic, then the former heavyweight champ will face the winner of Ngannou vs. Lewis:
“Jon Jones made it very clear that he has no interest in fighting Stipe. So, you know, it doesn’t really matter. What you do is you do the fight with Derrick Lewis and Francis, and Stipe gets the winner,” White stated.
Despite their differences, Dana White reiterated that he still considers Jon Jones to be the “best ever”.
Dana White on where he stands with Jon Jones
The UFC president opened up on what the current relationship between the UFC and Jon Jones is like. Dana White made it clear that ‘Bones’ has a contract with the promotion and he can have the fight if he wants it:
“Jon Jones is under contract. He has a contract,” White said, “We have tried to work with him and see if there are things that we can do to make him want to fight. But if he doesn’t want to fight at heavyweight, he doesn’t want to. At the end of the day, what you gonna do? You can’t make the guy fight. And the reality is, Derrick Lewis is really the number one contender of the heavyweight championship right now. So, it doesn’t matter if Jon Jones fights or doesn’t want to fight.”
Jon Jones recently changed his management and tweeted that his “professionalism is about to up a notch”.