The negotiations between Jon Jones and the UFC regarding a heavyweight megafight against new heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou have been heavily publicized. Thus far, all the information about the negotiations has been shared by Jones. He has been very open up front about his concerns over his pay and looking to be properly compensated moving forward, especially for a fight the magnitude of Jon Jones vs. Francis Ngannou.
Earlier this week, it was reported that Dana White was moving in the direction of booking a rematch between Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis instead. White had discussed all the reasons a rematch between those two behemoths makes sense, but what he hadn’t disclosed until now is why it makes so much more financial sense: Jon Jones’s request for $30 million (transcription by Farah Hannoun).
“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.
“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.”
Prior to this bombshell, Jon Jones’s coach had argued that $25 million seemed like a fair number, and Jones himself said that $10 million was way too low. According to Dana White, both of those massive figures are still millions shy of the final asking price for Jon Jones: 30 million buckeraoos.
If things continue according to pattern, Jon Jones will be giving his side of the story and/or continuing to make his case for the reported sum of $30 million either in an interview or from his Twitter account.
If true, what are your thoughts on Jon Jones’s request to get paid $30 million to fight Francis Ngannou?