UFC fighter Jon Jones will no longer be represented by First Round Management.
Arguably one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time, Jon Jones has “amicably” parted ways with long-time management team First Round Management. The managing agency recently released a statement with the former UFC light heavyweight champion of the world.
After an 11 year journey as @JonnyBones management team, First Round Management and Bones have amicably decided to part ways. We are proud of him and the work we’ve done. We wish him the best going forward.
— FirstRoundMgmt (@FirstRoundMgmt) April 26, 2021
Jon Jones later confirmed the news through his Instagram stating that it had been an “amazing journey” and wished the Kawa family “many blessings” for the future. The Kawa family being Malki Kawa and Abe Kawa, the chief executive officer and vice president/MMA director respectively. The former of which managed Jones throughout the majority of his professional career.
“It’s been an absolutely amazing journey”, said Jones. “Thank you so much for all the memories, and business ventures. Wishing the Kawa family and everyone over at first round management many blessings moving forward. Glad to be able to call you guys friends for life.”
The news comes amidst a very public financial dispute between Jones and the UFC, most notably with its president Dana White over potential discussions of a super fight between Jones and the newly current UFC heavyweight champion of the world, Francis Ngannou.
White recently said that the potential super fight was likely to be scrapped in favour of heavyweight contender Derrick Lewis getting the title shot against Ngannou, claiming that Jones asked for $30 million for the fight.
“In his deal, he’s talking he wants $30 million guaranteed,” White said. “The way that this works is these guys all share in the pay-per-view, so you just said yourself you think that this is gonna be a big fight. I agree with you and think it’s gonna be a big fight, well he will share in the profits of the fight. That’s how it works. That’s how you run a business and you don’t go broke, that’s how that works.”
Jon Jones responded by saying that he never asked for $30million and questioned White’s sources.
I never discussed wanting 30 million with you or Hunter @danawhite just wondering where you heard that number? Is someone speaking with you on my behalf or…
— BONY (@JonnyBones) April 23, 2021
In the past, White has previously stated that Jones wants “Deontay Wilder money” which Jones denied strongly.
Fans may look at the sudden parting with First Round Management with suspicion especially with all the recent back and forth between Jones and the UFC however Malki Kawa, who represented Jones for the past 11 years, clarified that their parting had nothing to do with the recent negotiations.
“Sometimes it’s best to just walk away,” Kawa said. “Glad to have repped the p4p best fighter in @jonnybones for the last 11years. No this had nothing to do with his Ngannou negotiations. Jon has been handling that negotiation on his own and has been as he wanted to speak for himself when it came to the last few fights, so no, sorry fans, you can’t blame me. We all agreed it was just best to start over. @abraham and I are working on a lot of major things at #frm and sometimes you just have to know when to say when.”
Jon Jones (26-1-1)
Currently the no.1 pound-for-pound fighter according to the UFC rankings, Jones last fought in February 2020 when he defeated Dominick Reyes by unanimous decision in a closely disputed contest. With the win, Jones set a new record for the most title wins in UFC history with 14. Arguably undefeated in his professional career, his one loss stems from a disqualification for illegal downward elbows against Matt Hamill in 2009. A bout he was dominating before it was stopped. Jones has not lost since.
“Bones” became the youngest UFC champion in history at the age of 23 when he finished Shogun Rua in 2011 and has become one of the most greatest fighters in the UFC with title defences against legends such as Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida and Daniel Cormier.
After setting a new record for title fight wins, Jones vacated his light heavyweight crown believing there was no more to gain from the division and admitting to not being excited enough against recent challengers. After vacating, Jones gained a considerable amount of muscle in training to move up a weight class and potentially challenge for the heavyweight crown.
250lbs moving like a Jones pic.twitter.com/4SzcpDCEpR
— BONY (@JonnyBones) January 13, 2021
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