In the aftermath of UFC 260, it had become apparent that former light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones is at odds with UFC president Dana White over financial issues.
When Francis Ngannou knocked Stipe Miocic out to claim the UFC heavyweight on Saturday night, fans immediately got excited about the possibility of Jon Jones moving up to heavyweight to challenge for the title. The only hurdle in the way of a Jones-Ngannou dream match from coming into fruition? Money.
Jon Jones expressed his willingness to face the newly-minted heavyweight champion, but only at a price that he deems fair.
"Show me the money," Jones wrote on Twitter.
Jon Jones's standing in the UFC is very uncertain at the moment. If he does decide to leave the company, there are a handful of promotions that will definitely jump at the opportunity of signing him. We look at three MMA promotions that could sign Jon Jones if calls time on his UFC career.
#3 Bellator MMA
As the second-largest MMA promotion in the world, Bellator is the UFC's main competitor in North America. While Bellator is nowhere near the level of the UFC when it comes to popularity and revenue, the addition of Jon Jones to their roster would definitely give them a massive boost.
Bellator are no strangers to scooping up ex-UFC champions. In recent years, the organization has been home to former UFC light-heavyweight champions Tito Ortiz and Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson.
It would be interesting to see how Jon Jones would fare in Bellator's talent-rich heavyweight division. For Jones, signing with Bellator could result in him taking on current champion Ryan Bader, Cheick Kongo, or Vitaly Minakov.
#2 ONE Championship
Asia's largest MMA promotion have signed UFC championship-calibre fighters in the past. ONE Championship sent shockwaves to the MMA world in 2018 when they announced the signings of former UFC champions Demetrious 'Mighty Mouse' Johnson and Eddie Alvarez.
Johnson and Alvarez are big names in their own right, but their arrival at ONE Championship wasn't enough to bring in revenue from the Northern American audience. Jon Jones, however, is definitely capable of changing ONE Championship's fortunes when it comes to bringing attention to the organization.
Should Jones decide to take a trip East and sign with the Asia-based promotion, current heavyweight champion Brandon Vera, former UFC stalwart Arjan Bhullar, and Myanmar's Aung La N Sang could be potential opponents.
#1 Professional Fighters League
If Jon Jones wants to shake things up, going to the Professional Fighters League (PFL) would be an unexpected move.
PFL is unique as it is the only MMA promotion that utilizes a regular season format, with a playoff tournament and finals to conclude the season — similar to major American sporting leagues like the NFL, NBA, and MLB.
If Jon Jones joins the PFL, he will have to fight his way through an entire division to claim the $1 million dollar cash prize along with the heavyweight championship. In terms of competition, PFL's heavyweight roster boasts a roster featuring PFL titleholder Ali Isaev, ex-UFC champion Fabricio Werdum, and Mohammed Usman.
Jon Jones's reportedly received $580,000 in his most lucrative payday in the UFC. That said, a million dollars for multiple fights would probably be less appealing for 'Bones'. If he chooses PFL over the other promotions, Jones would have to do it for reasons other than the money.