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Jon Jones, manager Malki Kawa part ways after 11 years

First Round Management will no longer represent the former UFC light heavyweight champion.

In a major turn of events, Jon Jones has split up with his longtime management company.

First Round Management, founded and led by CEO Malki Kawa, made the announcement on Twitter on Monday evening.

“After an 11 year journey as [Jon Jones’] management team, First Round Management and Bones have amicably decided to part way,” the statement read. “We are proud of him and the work we’ve done. We wish him the best going forward.”

This comes as the former UFC light heavyweight champion remains without a fight and indeed has been inactive since his controversial decision win over Dominick Reyes in February of 2020. Jones has been angling for a heavyweight title fight against Francis Ngannou, but has been adamant that he wants to be compensated fairly.

Dana White has repeatedly claimed that Jones wants Deontay Wilder type money to the tune of $30 million. Jones has denied this on numerous occasions, although this tweet seems a bit more cryptic following the FRM news.

At the moment it looks as if Ngannou will rematch Derrick Lewis in Francis’ first defense of his title. You may recall their first fight was one of the worst of all-time but Lewis has been on an impressive winning streak that could earn him a title shot on merit regardless of the Jones situation. It should be noted though that Lewis is also an FRM client.

Stay tuned, because you know this story isn’t over until Jon puts something out on Twitter. Perhaps we’ll soon find out if he intends to sign with another management company or if he’ll act as his own negotiator.

Update: Kawa has made his own statement on Instagram, denying that FRM was ever involved in Ngannou-Jones negotiations and that Jon has been handling that on his own.