If anyone knows what it's like being in the doghouse with the UFC, it's Jon Jones.
The organization came down hard on Jones when he refused to jump in the cage with Chael Sonnen and defend his UFC light heavyweight title on short notice. The fight was supposed to take place at UFC 151, but it was ultimately cancelled. After the cancellation was announced UFC president Dana White, during a media call, declared that UFC 151 was, "the event Jon Jones and Greg Jackson murdered."
So if anyone can relate to what Conor McGregor is going through, it's Jones. While attending UFC 197's open workouts, Jones spoke about everything that's going on right now with UFC 200:
Hats off to him for standing up for what he believes is right. At the end of the day, business is business, and the guy obviously has respect for himself and his talents. Fights like this will help fighters in the future. So, I respect his balls. ... I respect his willingness to fight for what is right.
On Tuesday, McGregor took to Twitter to announce his "retirement." Several hours later, UFC President was "open" for McGregor to still fight Diaz at UFC 200. White also stated that this wasn't about money, but about McGregor's unwillingness to attend a media event to promote UFC 200.
However, just yesterday White officially pulled McGregor from the card and stated that the door was closed.
Jones had this to say about Conor's alleged "retirement:"
I don't think he's retired. I don't think he's going to retire. Just a few days ago, on his Instagram, he said ‘hungry like day one.' So, a guy like a Conor, he is a fighter and he is a winner, and I don't think he would want to go out on a loss. I think if he doesn't fight again, his legacy is really that Diaz fight. So I'm pretty sure he'll back.
Jones was right. This morning, McGregor released a statement claiming that he is officially, "not retired" and also added that, "I am paid to fight. I am not yet paid to promote."
In a rebuttal to McGregor's statement, the UFC officials scrapped the rematch with Nate Diaz at UFC 200 and is currently looking for a new main event.
Jones, like he had a magic eight ball, is confident in McGregor's stand-off with Dana White and the UFC:
Conor knows what he's doing. Conor has made a lot of money, so I'm sure he's in a position right now where he doesn't need to jump up and fight at the next event. I'm sure he can afford to take a long time off, so yeah, he'll be back.