UFC President Dana White claims former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has lost millions of dollars due to the situations he has found himself in over the last few years.
The latest infraction was a positive out-of-competition drug test carried out by USADA and announced during UFC 200 fight week, removing him from the main event title fight with Daniel Cormier. The issue was resolved this week when he was hit with a one-year suspension retroactive to July 9th.
The UFC President this week made an appearance on The Dan LeBatard Show and gave his thoughts on not only what these last few years have done to Jones’ legacy as a fighter but how it’s affected his potential revenue earnings.
“Yeah, he’s definitely one of the guy’s who could have gone down as one of the greatest ever,” said White. “If you look at all the time he’s been out, he probably would have defended the title a few times. He might be fighting at heavyweight right now, who knows, but, hey man… When you do what this guy has done, you’ve got to pay the price.
“We’ve lost a lot of money, left a lot of money on the table and obviously his legacy is…I’ll tell you this, too…in the history of combat sports, nobody’s ever taken this much time off and come back and looked like they did when they were younger – even (Muhammad) Ali. So it’s going to be interesting.”
When pressed to give a projection on a dollar amount the number White gave was, in short, astronomical.
“It’s got to be… Who knows,” White said. “I mean, if he moved up to heavyweight and fought for the heavyweight championship, it could have been massive. It could be anywhere from $15-20 million.”
Jon Jones has constantly been touted as the greatest of all time, in the mix with former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. For White, Silva still holds that status, at least in his opinion.
“I think because everybody looks at Jon Jones as the guy who was probably the best ever to do it,” said White. “And the potential that he had. Who knows what fights we missed or what could have been because of all this madness.
“It’s tough to not give that to Anderson Silva. Anderson Silva was doing things at the time that other people couldn’t do. He was so dominant and made it look so easy. There was a point in time when he made that 185-pound division look weak.”