Remember when Jon Jones told the Nevada State Athletic Commission that his well documented brawl with Daniel Cormier cost him his sponsorship deal with Nike? Well, just days before the light-heavyweight champ throws down with Cormier at UFC 182, Jones has apologized to Nike for claiming that.
Jones participated in a media call recently to promote his bout with Cormier, and while doing so, admitted that he and Nike had already agreed to part ways, prior to the August incident. According to multiple reports, Jones says that Nike had informed him that they were not moving forward with as extensive of a MMA campaign as planned. As a result, Jones says he had told Nike he would not be signing on for a third year with the sporting goods giant.
Then, Jones and Cormier had their highly publicized, press conference brawl, and the champ says he and Nike elected to cut ties right then, instead of completing the rest of the deal.
So, this is why Jones relayed the following during the aforementioned call (quotes via MMA Junkie.com):
“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 that they dropped me because of the fight. They actually didn’t.”
“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.”
Jones was fined $50K and sentenced to perform 40 hours of community service by the NSAC in September, and it will be interesting to see if the commission will re-assess that punishment in light of the 27 year-old’s recent comments.
All this aside, Jones and Cormier will battle Saturday night in the MGM Grand Garden Arena, in what many believe will be the champion’s toughest test to date. In the co-headliner, Myles Jury will take on fellow lightweight contender Donald Cerrone.