Just days before Jon Jones is set to throw down with Daniel Cormier at UFC 182, the MMA world has been thrown a bit of a curveball by the light-heavyweight champ.
If you recall, when Jones was called to appear in front of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, due to his headline grabbing brawl with Cormier in August, he claimed that the infamous incident had cost him his deal with Nike. Jones’ representative went on to tell the NSAC that as a result, Jones was losing out on a deal that sent over six figures his way annually.
Well, in a media call this week to promote his fight with Cormier, Jones proceeded to clarify what he told the NSAC.
According to multiple reports, Jones now claims that he and Nike were already set to part ways, before the brawl took place. According to the light-heavyweight champ, Nike informed him earlier this year that the company was not going to be concentrating as much on MMA as once planned, and as a result, not as many Jones related campaigns would be done. The 27 year-old told Nike he thought it was best if he didn’t sign on for a third year.
Then, the press conference scrap with Cormier took place in August, and Jones says Nike elected to cut him loose right then, rather than finish the remainder of the deal. So, in other words, Jones was already on his way out of Nike, before the big incident went down.
According to a report from MMA Fighting.com, here is some of what Jones had to say about all this, in the recent media call.
“When I was in front of the commission, I definitely worded it wrong,” Jones said. “Nike did not drop me because of that fight and I kind of owe an apology to Nike for saying they dropped me because of the fight. They actually didn’t. Nike has been known to support its athletes through much worse things than a brawl in the middle of MGM [Grand].
“It was already official,” said Jones. “Everybody at headquarters knew. My team knew that I wasn’t gonna do my third year with Nike. And then we got into the brawl.”
Of course, now Jones is sponsored by Reebok, and the champ reportedly went on to praise the sporting goods giant for taking MMA “seriously”.
Jones-Cormier will headline UFC 182, which will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.