The negotiations between Jon Jones and the UFC regarding a heavyweight superfight against Francis Ngannou have been as well documented as they could be from the intel we’ve received from Jon Jones’s Twitter account followed up by Dana White’s assertion that Jones wants $30 million. What we do know is that Jones is on the record in stating that $10 million is too low an amount for a fight of this magnitude, and we also know that Dana White will not consider a number as high as $30 mil. Jones denied requesting the $30 million amount, but there is no official report on what numbers have actually been discussed between the two parties, as is the norm with contract negotiations.
In the latest installment of ESPN’s DC & Helwani program, Cormier theorized that the figure discussed probably lies somewhere in the middle at around $15 million. The former double champion argued on Jones’s behalf for a massive payday, but he also thinks Jones is getting a bit carried away if he’s expecting to make McGregor money.
“I think he does deserve a large number,” Cormier began. “I don’t know what Conor makes. I heard Conor makes $15 million or something to show up, then he gets all the pay-per-view, right? If Conor makes $15 million to show up, Jones shouldn’t make what Conor McGregor makes. If Conor McGregor makes something in that range, Jones shouldn’t make what Conor McGregor makes. It should be a tier beneath that.
“Does Jon Jones make what Khabib makes if Khabib makes $8 million-$10 million? Yes. But I don’t believe he should make what Conor McGregor makes. I do believe that Conor McGregor, there should be a difference in the pay scale because of what he has meant to the company. But in the $8-million-$10-million range? I think that works.”
During his Twitter negotiations with the UFC, Jon Jones has made loose mention of Conor McGregor, implying that there is a double standard in how Dana White reacts when McGregor negotiates for more money compared to when it is him saying phrases like, “Show me the money.” Cormier thinks this is a losing argument because no one is the draw that McGregor has proven to be, but he does think that a $10 million contract for Jones to fight Ngannou is practically guaranteed.
“I believe with 100% certainty, they will give him $10 million to show up and fight Francis Ngannou,” Cormier said. “I believe that. I do believe that. $15 million-$20 million like Conor? I don’t believe that. But $10 million? Absolutely. And that’s him getting his money. Because he’s never made $10 million before to show. He said he makes $5 million, right? So if he makes $5 million, then you’re doubling what he makes to go and fight Francis.”
As mentioned, Jones has already expressed that $10 million is too low a figure for him to agree to fight Ngannou, so that amount is out. However, Jones recently split ways with his management team, so if he hires new representation, that could be a gamechanger and all types of negotiating possibilities could open up.
Daniel Cormier Points Out Major Concern For Giving Jones Huge Money
Throughout his analysis of the Jon Jones/UFC negotiations, Daniel Cormier was visibly struggling to remain objective in light of his well-documented feud with Jones. Cormier clearly hasn’t followed the sportscasting playbook of ESPN colleague Chael P. Sonnen, who would have no problem giving an extremely harsh take of Jones, even if it is perceived as dragging him.
Instead, Cormier was undergoing an internal struggle to not only remain objective but to not state something that could come across as vengeful or unfair. Eventually, Cormier went ahead and said what he felt needed to be said about the biggest concern the UFC should have about giving Jones anything north of $10 million.
“Here’s the issue with Jones is you’re never certain what’s gonna come after. And therein lies the problem. What if something happens after?” Cormier asked. “And this is why it’s so hard. We’ve fought on a number of occasions, and every time, something happened after. What if something happens after? Now, you got a vacant heavyweight championship, and you paid this guy all this money. That’s the problem. And it’s hard for me to say that because of our history.”
Cormier is loosely referring to the suspensions Jones has had to endure due to drug-testing issues and is perhaps also referring to legal issues and the general unpredictability that has followed Jones in recent years. The USADA suspensions of Jones’s career have, in fact, each been tied to a fight against Cormier.
Being that Cormier has such a direct connection to Jones and his chequered past, it does seem only human for Cormier to swiftly remember and thus point out the fact that Jones has historically posed a high financial risk for the UFC. Nevertheless, should Jones catch wind of these comments, there will most likely be a Twitter storm a-brewin’ from Jonny Bones aimed once again at his ol’ buddy DC.
What are your thoughts on Daniel Cormier’s breakdown of Jon Jones’s negotiations with the UFC?