Jon Jones wasn’t the first to speak up, but depending how things go, he may be the most important. For the last week and a half, the greatest light heavyweight of all-time’s Twitter feed has been a long overdue polemic against the contractual precarity of Ultimate Fighting Championship competitors.
“Just go ahead and release me from my UFC contract altogether,” he tweeted on May 29. He doubled down on that request the next day, bid the light heavyweight title farewell a day after that and otherwise railed against getting ripped off “tens of millions” of dollars throughout his career. The alternative—forking out a little extra money for a banger against Francis Ngannou—is looking considerably better than it already did, which is saying something.
If it were just Jones kicking up dust and if times were normal, the UFC would likely do what it always does in these situations: keep the gears in motion and wait for the unhappy party to come back around. In the meantime, focus on promoting the next batch of stars, so if the unhappy party doesn’t come back around, some other G.O.A.T.-of-the-week can slide right into the spot and keep the general order of things intact. Most of the time, however, fighters come back around. What other option is there?
Still, these are not normal times, and Jones is not alone…Like