Former Light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones has responded to Dana White’s comments in which he said that the Jones vs Ngannou fight is off as Jones asked for $30 million dollars for the fight.
Former UFC light heavyweight king Jones has been gearing up for his heavyweight debut against newly crowned champion Francis Ngannou (16-3 MMA, 11-2 UFC), but after his negotiations with UFC president Dana White isn’t going well and now it seems like UFC is ready to move on to the next contender in line for the heavyweight title.
White has mentioned on multiple occasions that Jones (26-1 MMA, 20-1 UFC) asked for $30 million to face Ngannou, a price the UFC isn’t willing to guarantee. So with Jones apparently pricing himself out, White now says Derrick Lewis (25-7 MMA, 16-5 UFC) will get the title shot, instead.
White has talked about the ongoing negotiations for a highly-anticipated superfight between Ngannou, the UFC’s current heavyweight champion, and Jon Jones, the greatest light heavyweight fighter in the promotion’s history. White and Jones have been locked in public negotiations for over a year now over the possibility of Jones moving up to heavyweight and immediately fighting for the title. Then new intensity was brought up into the conversation when Ngannou beat Stipe Miocic to become champion at UFC 260.
Dana White has openly questioned whether Jones actually wants to fight Ngannou, while Jones has made it clear that his reservations for signing on for the bout are strictly financial. Jones said that an offer in the “$8-10 million range” isn’t enough to fight Ngannou.
“We tried to work with Jon, and we eventually have to move on because realistically, and in all honesty, Derrick Lewis is the guy who deserves the fight,” White said on “The Bill Simmons Podcast.” “Derrick Lewis is a heavyweight, he beat Francis Ngannou, he’s looked good in his last couple of fights, he’s ranked in the top three, I think, and he deserves the fight. That’s the fight that should happen. We’ll just roll and do what we do. When Jon’s ready, he’ll let us know.”
He continued, “In his deal, he’s talking he wants $30 million guaranteed. The way that this works is, these guys all share in the pay-per-view. … He will share in the profits of the fight. That’s how it works. That’s how you run a business, and you don’t go broke.”
Jon Jones denies Dana White’s statements
In a recent tweet, Jones (26-1 MMA, 20-1 UFC) contradicted a claim made by White, in which the UFC president said Jones asked for that amount to fight heavyweight champion Francis Ngnannou.
I never discussed wanting 30 million with you or Hunter @danawhite just wondering where you heard that number? Is someone speaking with you on my behalf or…
— BONY (@JonnyBones) April 23, 2021
“I never discussed wanting 30 million with you or Hunter (Campbell) @danawhite just wondering where you heard that number?” Jones wrote. “Is someone speaking on my behalf or…”
Over the years, White and Jones have disagreed both in the open and behind closed doors. Particularly in recent months they have been going back and forth with each other and making statements regarding their negotiation process.
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