JON JONES has demanded the UFC give him a pay rise before he commits to fighting at heavyweight.
The former long-reigning UFC light-heavyweight champion is currently piling on the pounds in preparation for his long-awaited move up to heavyweight.
Jones, 33, vacated the 205lb strap last August after a public pay dispute with UFC president Dana White, although the pair are now back on good terms.
And the consensus pound-for-pound king has no intention of competing again until his financial demands have been met.
On Wednesday evening, he tweeted: "I'm finally at a point where I can see that as clear as day, I acknowledge that comfortably and confidently.
"As soon as I can get my pay reflecting that, buckle up, it’s going to be a wild ride. The legacy continues.
Despite being on the wrong side of 30, Jones is happy to sit on the sidelines until he gets what he wants.
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Bones has zero concerns about the potential effects of a lengthy hiatus, citing the recent success light-heavyweight king Jan Blachowicz has had deep into his thirties.
The New Yorker added: “The current champion is 38. I’m only 33.
"Mark my words: eventually I will have that belt around my waist. There’s no rush.
"I’ll just keep building my body, I’ll focus on doing all the right things outside of the Octagon, and hopefully one day the company will see more value in me.”
Despite being the most dominant force in light-heavyweight history, Jones had no intention of retaining the title and holding up the division.
He told The Bleacher Report: “I didn’t want to be one of those athletes to slow down the division.
"I feel like I’ve held onto the light heavyweight championship for so long—I’ve ruined so many people’s dreams of being the light heavyweight champion—and now it’s time for someone else to have it.
“I thought it was the right thing to do for everyone else.
"I could have done the selfish thing and held onto it and come up with a bunch of excuses and lied to the fans and said I was going to come back down to light heavyweight and made all these guys wait. I didn’t want to do that.
"I have no intentions of ever going back to light heavyweight.”
And it's safe to say the prospect of mixing it with the UFC's big boys has lit a fire under him.
Jones told ESPN: "The light-heavyweight division was fun, but I just wasn’t scared of those guys anymore.
"Like, none of them. And I think it showed in some of my performances.
"Obviously, I still trained hard. But there was no urgency in some of my last fights. With these next guys, I’m going to be going up against, I respect these guys.
"These guys are intimidating – they’re intimidating as s***. It just gets me up in a whole different way.”
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