For over a decade, “Bones” was represented by the agency First Round Management, however the two parties have decided to end their partnership.
“After an 11 year journey as @JonnyBones management team, First Round Management and Bones have amicably decided to part ways,” the agency tweeted. “We are proud of him and the work we’ve done. We wish him the best going forward.”
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
Interestingly, Jones’ decision to move on from his longtime management agency, who represented him for almost his entire UFC tenure, happened while he’s been campaigning to earn a bigger payday to fight heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.
The actual reasoning behind Bones and First Round Management’s split has not been revealed, but it came days after an eye-raising tweet from the former champ. UFC president Dana White claims Jones has asked for $30 million to fight “The Predator,” something Jones denied. Bones tweeted to White, asking him if someone was speaking to the UFC president “on my behalf.”
“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…,” Jones tweeted.
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
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The First Round Management CEO Said the Split Isn’t About Ngannou Negotiations
First Round Management CEO Malki Kawa shared his thoughts on Jones’ departure from the agency. In his statement, he said it had “nothing to do with Ngannou negotiations” and that they all agreed that it was “just best to start over.”
“Sometimes it’s best to just walk away,” Kawa wrote via Instagram. “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.”
Jones’ next move is unclear. He will likely look to sign with another management agency with the goal of securing the fight with Ngannou coupled with suitable financial compensation.
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Jones Has Been Preparing for His Heavyweight Debut Since Last Summer
The last time Bones fought was in February 2020 when he defended his light heavyweight title against Dominick Reyes at UFC 247.
In August, Jones revealed he was vacating the strap to move up to the heavyweight division. Since then, Jones has been preparing his body to fight the bigger men north of 205 pounds. He has made it clear that he hopes to fight Ngannou in his divisional debut for the heavyweight title.