Jon Jones: $8-10 million ‘way too low’ to fight Francis Ngannou

Jon Jones gave up the light heavyweight title to take a run at heavyweight, at becoming the baddest man on the planet, which he just may have been all along anyway. UFC president Dana White said Jones would get an immediate title shot vs. the winner of Francis Ngannou vs. then champion Stipe Miocic, in the main event of UFC 260 on March 27. Ngannou won and the mother of all superfights to date appeared to be at hand. However, Jones wants super compensation, and, oddly negotiations with the UFC were carried out over the social network.

Pay has been an ongoing issue between Jones and White, with the UFC previously flatly rejecting what White characterized as a request for “Deontay Wilder money” to fight Ngannou when he was the title challenger. “Deontay Wilder money” is presumably the $30 million that Wilder reportedly received to box Tyson Fury last year. However, Jones bitterly argued that he had asked for that much, although he declined to name the figure he wants.

After the latest tweets, the figure is a little a little clearer – it’s a lot more than $8-10 million.

If Jones declines to fight Ngannou for a mutually acceptable purse, a rematch with Derrick Lewis will be The Predator’s first title defense. Unfortunately, as Jones noted, the first fight between the pair was a fan-unfriendly loss for the current champ.

However, the simple fact is that the UFC’s brand is bigger than that of Jones, or any other fighter. The UFC is an $8 billion or so corporation, while Jones’ net worth is likely in the low tens of millions. Even Conor McGregor‘s net worth of perhaps $300 million doesn’t come close to rivaling the UFC. By contrast, the most successful promoter in boxing, Bob Arum, has a net worth similar to McGregor’s; there is parity between the promoter and the talent.

Further, the UFC brand adds major value to a fight. If Wilder vs. Fury was promoted by Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, Bob Arum’s Top Rank, or Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions, or, as it happened, all three, no one much cares. If Jones were to fight outside the UFC, the best competition available might be Junior Dos Santos. And that fight is not going to make him “Deontay Wilder money” or even “Jon Jones money.”

So given the way the MMA market is structured at present, Jones doesn’t have the leverage to get what he wants. Given that, stirring things up in public is a smart move, but ultimately, isn’t likely to get him what he wants.

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