MMA legend and UFC megastar Jon Jones recently parted ways with First Round Management, the company that managed him for around 11 years. Following this, many in the combat sports community have engaged in speculation as to whether this will lead to Jones signing with Ali Abdelaziz.
Speaking to ESPN MMA, Ali Abdelaziz revealed that he’s willing to help Jon Jones secure a better fight deal with the UFC moving forward. Abdelaziz also had words of praise for UFC president Dana White. He stated –
“Me and Jon talked like a year ago. Like, listen, listen. First of all, I think Jon’s misunderstood a lot. I think he’s a decent human being. And I think he wears his emotion off his sleeve. But he’s fighting for himself, you know. Listen, if any advice I’ll give him – ‘I know it’s frustrating. I know it’s hard, Jon. But listen to me. You are legend. You are pound-for-pound one of the greatest ever. You should not have to go on Twitter to defend yourself, right?’”
Ali Abdelaziz suggested that Jon Jones on one hand, and Dana White and the UFC on the other, ought to negotiate a contract respectfully. Abdelaziz believes that they’re more than capable of finding a solution to their current business impasse.
Ali Abdelaziz believes Jon Jones shouldn’t take his case to social media, praises Dana White
Ali Abdelaziz explained that it’s normal for Jon Jones to want increasingly significant sums of money. That said, he emphasized that Jones should keep his dispute with the UFC off social media.
Abdelaziz praised Dana White and said –
“’It makes me sad. If you have beef with Dana White, Dana is not hard to deal with. Everybody thinks he’s this monster with three horns, right? He’s not. He’s just actually a decent guy, and you’re a decent guy. Sit with him. Have a dinner; you and him, one on one.’ I guarantee you these two gentlemen will find a solution, you know.’”
“You know, I’m not having talk with Jon. It’s actually making me sad, to see what he’s going through – Because, listen, all fighters deserve; if you give me 20 million, I want 30 million, if you give me 10 million, I want 70 million. That’s the name of the game. Everybody want more. Dana White want more, I want more, the fighter want more, right? But it’s our job to meet in a very peaceful, respectful place. Of course, if somebody called me to help Jon, I help Jon, you understand."
"Listen, I helped Georges St-Pierre to fight Michael Bisping. I flew in from Canada to fly on Dana’s plane to meet Ari (Emmanuel). I didn’t make a dollar out of it. Will I do that for Jon? Yeah, I’ll help him for sure. Even without nothing I’ll help him, just to help a young man trying to make money. And the other side are so mad because it’s become – He involved the media, he involved the public. It’s hard to control. Get off social media, Dana, sit back a little bit, and let people handle this.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)
Jon Jones was expected to fight current UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. However, Jones and the UFC have been engaged in a dispute over how much 'Bones' ought to be paid for this fight.
The belief is that in case this fight doesn't come to fruition, Ngannou will defend his title in a rematch against Derrick Lewis.