Jon Jones tweeted on Sunday that he is giving up his UFC title because of a pay dispute.
“To the light-heavyweight title – veni, vidi, vici,” tweeted Jones, using the Latin phrase meaning “I came, I saw, I conquered,” attributed to Julius Caesar. Asked if was giving up his title, he tweeted “Yes.”
When one of Jones’ 2.3 million Twitter followers suggested he was hurting himself more than the UFC, Jones replied: “I hurt myself every time I walk out there and take a punch to the head and not feel my pay is worth it anymore.”
The 32-year-old Jones had been eyeing a fight with heavyweight Francis Ngannou, but said the UFC did not want to pay him enough. UFC President Dana White said the fighter wanted “crazy” money, citing demands of $15m, $20m and $30m.
“He can do whatever he wants to do. He can sit out, he can fight, he can whatever,” White said on Saturday night after an 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.”
ones is considered one of the best UFC fighters of his era. He has a 26-1 record and retained his title in February by beating Dominick Reyes by unanimous decision. He was stripped of his world title in 2015 after a hit-and-run incident, and has had a number of brushes with the law. The latest came this year when he was arrested on a firearm charge.