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Coach: Jon Jones is ‘serious’ about vacating belt, but could ‘come to a deal’ with UFC

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Coach Mike Winkeljohn talks about Jon Jones’ recent declaration of giving up his UFC title.

UFC 247: Jones v Reyes Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Jon Jones isn’t happy with the UFC right now. Over the past few days, “Bones” has been butting heads with UFC president Dana White about the supposed fight with heavyweight Francis Ngannou.

The 32-year-old fighter went as far as demanding for his UFC release and relinquishing his 205-pound title. And according to his coach Mike Winkeljohn, Jones isn’t playing around.

“I think Jon is serious. He is really happy right now,” Winkeljohn told BJPenn.com. “He’s spent a lot of time with his girls and has matured. He’s focusing on taking care of his family and today he is cleaning up glass after the riots. Last night, he stopped someone who was trying to spray paint.

“I believe Jon has grown up. He also only has so many fights he wants before his career is over and he wants to be paid for those fights. Jon is also looking at what the boxers are making and we know there is more money for him to be made.

“I had a conversation on Sunday with Jon and he is serious about vacating the belt and walking away,” he added. “He told me he has no problem sitting out and not fighting and just hanging out with his girls.”

On the other hand, Winkeljohn also sees the possibility of Jones making amends with the UFC, if the right deal is in place.

“Deep down he wants to challenge himself. So, I would be surprised if we didn’t see him fight again,” he said. “The UFC also knows they need Jon back.

“I have no idea what the realistic scenario is. It comes down to Jon and Dana, and those are alphas. They will come to a deal. It may take some time but they will meet and it will work out for both parties.

“The UFC and Jon will both sit down and look at their numbers and time will tell.”

From his end, White isn’t willing to bend, notwithstanding Jones’ widely-considered “GOAT” status.