Jon Jones inks first major endorsement since his reinstatement to UFC
The business of being Jon Jones is picking up again with the former light heavyweight champion inking his first major endorsement deal since his suspension from the UFC was lifted.
On Wednesday, Jones -- who is expected to return to the Octagon in 2016 -- signed a sponsorship deal with GAT Nutrition, a leading supplement company that works with athletes across the world, primarily in the bodybuilding industry, with products sold in over 7,500 stores nationwide.
"I am very grateful to have such a terrific brand like GAT sponsor me as one of their athletes," Jones said in a press release. "I look forward to working with TEAMGAT and to taking the GAT brand with me in becoming the number one name in MMA."
Following his arrest on hit-and-run charges in April, Jones watched virtually all of his endorsement deals evaporate, including a lucrative sponsorship he signed with Reebok as one of the first athletes to land a contract with the apparel company following a uniform deal with the UFC.
Jones had previously worked with Nike before losing that sponsorship as well after the former champion claims the company dropped him following a brawl with Daniel Cormier at a press conference in Las Vegas in 2014.
Now, Jones has signed a new deal with the supplement company in the wake of his reinstatement to the UFC while he continues to work to rehab the image that was nearly destroyed after being arrested in April.
"I was thrilled when Malki Kawa (Jones' manager) called me to discuss TEAMGAT expanding to include MMA athletes and signing Jon Jones as our first," said Mark Post, Vice President of GAT. "I've been a fan of his since he entered the sport. Everyone at GAT is excited about signing Jon. The whole world will be watching when he gets back into action. TEAMGAT will be proud to be in his corner."
Jones has been keeping busy despite his suspension with the former light heavyweight champion mentoring and coaching many of the fighters, including women’s bantamweight contender Holly Holm, he trains with at Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA in New Mexico.
Following his reinstatement, Jones is awaiting word from the UFC on booking his next fight, which is expected to be against current light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier at some point in early 2016.