Jon Jones on Friday denied asking for $ 30 million to fight heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, starting yet another trade between UFC President Dana White and former UFC light heavyweight champion as his future heavyweight title remained uncertain.
White reported on Friday that the UFC dropped a heavyweight title fight between Ngannou and Jones after he said Jones was seeking a ten-figure salary. Instead, the promotion worked on an altercation between Ngannou and Lewis, who received an $ 8 million salary when Jones and White argued in the media over the salary.
“I have never discussed 30 million or [UFC executive] Hunter [Campbell]- wrote Jones. “[Dana White] just wondering where did you hear this number? Someone speaks to you on my behalf or … “
I never discussed the 30 million wish with you or Hunter. @danawhite just wondering where did you hear this number? Someone speaks to you on my behalf or …
– BONY (@JonnyBones) April 23, 2021
Jones’ response is the latest sign of a strained relationship between the ex-champion and his longtime promoter. After White turned down his request to “show me the money” to fight Ngannou, he said that Lewis “needs to fight” the new champion who knocked out Stipe Miocic last month to get the belt. Frustrated, Jones asked to be released from his contract before expressing confidence that the blockbuster fight would eventually take place.
Prior to Ngannu’s knockout win (and Jones’ plea for a wage increase), White said the former light heavyweight thief was first in line to place the winner of the Ngannu vs. Miocic match. But he said that Jones’ preliminary demands forced him to change direction.
“In his deal, he says he wants to guarantee $ 30 million,” White said. “It works in a way that all these guys share pay-per-view, so you just said yourself that you thought it was going to be a big battle. I agree with you and think it will be a big fight, well, he will share the profits from the fight. This is how it works. This is how you do business and don’t go broke, this is how it works. “
Jones, 33, is gaining weight in anticipation of moving to heavyweight after giving up the light heavyweight title amid yet another money dispute with the UFC. His last fight took place in February 2020 at UFC 247, where he defeated Dominic Reyes by unanimous decision.