As of right now, Jon Jones and Dana White aren’t in the best terms. The two have been going at each other since last week, passing the blame about the unsuccessful attempt to make the Francis Ngannou fight happen.
“Bones,” who’s been tired and fed up, already announced he’d be giving up his UFC light heavyweight title. Coach Mike Winkeljohn, however, believes his fighter would eventually come to a deal with the UFC and straighten things out.
Apparently, White shares that same sentiment regarding Jones, whom he sees more as a business partner than an employee.
“You’re not always going to agree on everything,” White said on Eddie Hearn and Tony Bellew’s Talk the Talk podcast (transcript by MMA Fighting). “Jon Jones and I do not agree on something right now. We’re having a disagreement, but Jon Jones is a partner in this business.
“Conor McGregor is a partner in this business. The list goes on and on. When you get to that level, when you become a star or a world champion like these guys are, they’re a partner.
“We don’t agree right now on things, and we’re going to fight and we say things, the thing that’s going on in public, and eventually you get to a point where you get tired of fighting and you figure it out. It’s like any other relationship,” he added.
According to White, other UFC champions in the past got that same “partner” treatment.
“The way that it works in the UFC, these guys that become these big stars, become partners,” he said. “They become partners in the pay-per-view and selling the pay-per-view. That’s how we all make money.
“But every one of those guys that you mentioned from the Chuck Liddells to the Anderson Silvas to the Georges St-Pierres to the Jon Joneses, Ronda Rousey, they all brought something different to the table.”
Winkeljohn also stated that with Jones unhappy about the money he is making, he is “serious” about his plans to vacate the title, and that he is content with just spending time with his family now.