UFC News: Latest on Jon Jones' Feud with Dana White, Gilbert Burns Title Shot

Blake SchusterAnalyst IMay 31, 2020

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MAY 30: In this handout provided by UFC,  (L-R) Gilbert Burns of Brazil punches Tyron Woodley in their welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on May 30, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images

Jon Jones is ratcheting up the stakes in his feud with UFC President Dana White.

Shortly after White appeared on ESPN's First Take and took shots at Jones' recent contract demands for a superfight against heavyweight Francis Ngannou, the MMA legend challenged the company to release him.

BONY @JonnyBones

I don’t even make half of half of what Diante Wilder makes. If my reputation causes you to undervalue me this much. Just go ahead and release me from my @Ufc contract altogether. I’m sure some promoter somewhere will be more than happy to pick me up.

White told First Take that while Jones may be the greatest UFC fighter of all time, he was not willing to budge on any further contract demands.

"He's asking for an amount of money," White said. "And it's not going to happen."

Even Ngannou is siding with Jones, tweeting in late May that it appeared to him the UFC isn't willing to make the fight with Jones happen.

According to Jones, the UFC has told him there's potential for him to earn more because of pay-per-view buys, but that would likely be a fraction of what he's seeking.

"Do I make [$5-plus million] per fight? Yes. Should I stick to that number for my superfights? No," Jones tweeted. "If you don't agree with me, you just don't know business. I certainly didn't ask for [$30 million], never even threw out a number."

Jones, 32, hasn't lost a fight since being disqualified for illegal elbows in 2009. He most recently defeated Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 via unanimous decision.

On Saturday, the UFC returned to Las Vegas for Fight Night: Woodley vs. Burns, and the main event did not disappoint, with Gilbert Burns earning a unanimous decision over the welterweight title's top contender.

Burns entered the evening ranked sixth in his weight class, but that's sure to change shortly. Even if he doesn't overtake Woodley for the No. 1 contender spot, the Brazilian demanded a shot at champion Kamaru Usman.

"I love the champ, my training partner Kamaru Usman, but give me a shot," Burns said after his victory. "Dana White, Hunter [Campbell], Sean Shelby, Kamaru, I want to fight for the title. A lot of love, a lot of respect for you, but I think I'm next. I'm right there. I can fight in July. I want to fight for the title."

Both Usman and Burns train with Sanford MMA. A fight between the two would not only draw plenty of eyeballs but also put their gym on one of the top stages in the UFC, giving the team a chance to increase its reputation across the sport.

It's still early, but Burns will need another match soon. If Usman is up for it, White may have another blockbuster on his hands.