Mike Winkeljohn says Jon Jones is happy with vacating the light heavyweight belt and walking away from the sport for a few years.
Recently, Jones and Dana White have not seen eye-to-eye about his pay to move up to heavyweight and fight Francis Ngannou. “Bones” has come out and said he would walk away from the sport and on Sunday night claimed he was vacating the belt. According to his coach in Winkeljohn, the champ is 100 percent serious about it.
“I think Jon is serious. He is really happy right now. He’s spent a lot of time with his girls and has matured. He’s focusing on taking care of his family and today he is cleaning up glass after the riots. Last night, he stopped someone who was trying to spray paint. I believe Jon has grown up,” Winkeljohn said to BJPENN.com. “He also only has so many fights he wants before his career is over and he wants to be paid for those fights. Jon is also looking at what the boxers are making and we know there is more money for him to be made.”
It has been reported Jon Jones asked for $30 million to fight Ngannou, which he said was a lie. But, according to Winkeljohn, he believes Bones will stick to his guns and not fight unless he gets paid what he feels like he deserves.
“I know Jon sees what the boxers are making. I have to give great props to Dana White and the UFC for what they’ve done. They have given us jobs so that is a fantastic thing. But, they do have a monopoly so they have control of what they pay. But, when you are the best at what you do, you should get the money,” he explained. “I want Jon to get more money because I care about Jon. In my heart, I think Jon will sit out for a while. The fans will miss the best of all-time and he’ll get back in there and fight again. I’m hoping the UFC sees his value and gives him some money.”
Winkeljohn also revealed Jones sat the team down on Sunday to reveal he may not fight again for a few years.
“I had a conversation on Sunday with Jon and he is serious about vacating the belt and walking away,” he said. “He told me he has no problem sitting out and not fighting and just hanging out with his girls.”
For Mike Winkeljohn, he says Jon Jones deserves to get paid more and hopes he does get paid more. But, the coach would be surprised if this feud lasts a while and sees Jones never fight again.
“I would be surprised because Jon is a fighter. Deep down he wants to challenge himself. So, I would be surprised if we didn’t see him fight again,” he explained. “The UFC also knows they need Jon back.”
In the end, Mike Winkeljohn hopes Jon Jones and the UFC can figure something out soon. He wants to see Bones back in the Octagon soon but says the light heavyweight champ and Dana White may very well have to sit down and talk to figure things out.
“I have no idea what the realistic scenario is. It comes down to Jon and Dana and those are alphas. They will come to a deal. It may take some time but they will meet and it will work out for both parties,” he concluded. “The UFC and Jon will both sit down and look at their numbers and time will tell.”
Do you think we will see Jon Jones vacate the belt?