For his upcoming fight against rival Rashad Evans, Jon Jones won’t be a walking billboard for fight apparel.
With his main sponsor, Form Athletics, having tanked recently, Jones has decided to do away with the multitude of sponsors that most fighters rep and simplify his brand. For his UFC 145 battle against Evans, Jones will only be sponsored by the UFC.
“I’ve had a goal of being sponsored by Nike for many, many years. And part of our strategy to try to make that happen one day is to not be a billboard, and not just be sponsored by TapouT one week, and Affliction one week, and then MusclePharm next week, and all these random companies,” said Jones. “If you realize, I try to look for relationships with companies, long lasting relationships with companies. So a part of my brand is to keep it clean. Less is more in my opinion.”
Jones points to his stability and willingness to tow the company line as reasons that the UFC offered him this unprecedented sponsorship. And he’s made sure to set it up so that when Nike comes calling, he’ll be able to answer.
“We came up with a strategy to keep it clean and be sponsored by the UFC itself. And I’m glad the UFC wanted to work with me as well, and I think that they trust that I’ll never make them look bad. You’ll never have to worry about me with a DWI or doing something crazy. I think I’m a good company guy. The UFC asks me to do anything and I always do it, and never tell them no for anything. I’ve had to do more marketing than any other fighter, because I say no to absolutely nothing. And I don’t think most champs are like that.
“I think they realize I’m a company guy and they decided to sponsor me,” he went on. “They put in the deal that if any mainstream companies come after this win that they will let me go, and I think that’s awesome.”
UFC 145 will take place on April 21 from the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.