MIXED martial arts fighter Mason ‘The Dragon’ Jones is backing himslef to secure a bigger deal after turning down an offer to re-sign with the UFC.
The 27-year-old told BBC Sport Wales ”he screwed himself” last time out in front of 23,000 people against Slovakian Ludovit Klein last July, when he lost by a unanimous decision in London.
But the Blaenavon fighter says he is now aiming to take “one or two fights” as a free agent in a bid to scure a better deal with another promotion.
Jones told the BBC: “I thought it would be my breakthrough fight in the UFC. There were 23,000 people watching, I was top of the preliminaries.
“I was coming off a win, it was a good opponent, [I thought] I’ll get a massive knockout…
“It’s the best I’ve felt for a fight, my camp was perfect, and I really felt like I was super fit, my cardio was through the roof.”
But things went wrong after losing the first round, when Jones moved away from his plan on the night.
“I threw a stupid flying triangle at him thinking I’m going to be the new poster boy for the UFC,” he said.
“I landed on my backside and heard my coaches shout, ‘No!’”
The Blaenavon fighter lost to American Mike Davis on his UFC debut, before an accidental eye poke against Brazilian Alan Patrick ended his second fight in a no contest.
Then in his third bout he beat Ugandan fighter David Onama.
Jones could now opt for the Professional Fighters League, which YouTuber Jake Paul has just signed a deal to compete in.
“Anything the Jake Pauls, Conor McGregors do is in a positive spotlight,” he told BBC Sport Wales.
“The way Jake pushes and advocates for fighter pay is a positive so they’re advocating and pushing for fighter pay, and it means UFC will have to get competitive with pay too.”