Former two-time UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones and long-time representatives, First Round Management, headed up by Malki and Abraham Kawa have “amicably parted ways” after an eleven-year partnership.
Mutually agreeing to part ways after more than a decade-long partnership, both parties confirmed by the news on their respective social media accounts.
“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,” First Round Management tweeted.
As for Jones, the long-time Jackson-Wink MMA mainstay described his time under the leadership of the Kawa brothers as “an absolutely amazing journey“.
“It’s been an absolutely amazing journey,” Jones posted on Instagram. “Thank you so much for all the memories, and business ventures. Wishing the Kawa family and everyone over at First Round Management many blessings moving forward. Glad to be able to call you guys friends for life.“
Jones, a former two-time 205-pound titleholder has been involved in some rather public negotiation woes with the UFC, amid a much-anticipated heavyweight divisional bow against reigning champion, Francis Ngannou.
Promotional leader, Dana White has claimed that the UFC was likely to move in the direction of a title rematch between Ngannou and surging contender, Derrick Lewis, after Jones allegedly stated he would need a “guaranteed” $30 million to meet with the Cameroonian — which Jones denied.
“I never discussed wanting $30 million with you or Hunter (Campbell) @danawhite just wondering where you heard that number? Is someone speaking with you on my behalf or…“
Posting on his personal Instagram account, Malki Kawa detailed that the reason for the parties parting ways had nothing to do with a potential fight with Ngannou, explaining how Jones has been handling those negotiations himself.
“Sometimes it’s best to just walk away,” Kawa wrote. “Glad to have repped the p4p best fighter in @jonnybones for the last 11 years. No this had nothing to do with his (Francis) Ngannou negotiations. Jon has been handling that negotiation on his own and has been as he wanted to speak for himself when it come (sic) 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.“
Last competing at UFC 247 in February of last year, Jones scored the third successful title defence of his second reign as undisputed light heavyweight champion, taking home a close, rather debated unanimous decision win over two-time title challenger, Dominick Reyes in Houston, Texas.