UFC President Dana White and light heavyweight champion Jon Jones are at odds again, this time over money.
Jones, 32, wanted more money to move to the heavyweight division and face knockout artist Francis Ngannou. According to White, Jones wanted an “absurd” amount of money, reportedly comparable to what Deontay Wilder received for his recent rematch against Tyson Fury ($30 million).
White and Jones remain at odds. Ultimately, how will this get resolved?
“I don’t know,” White said on Tiki & Tierney. “This isn’t our first beef, and it definitely won’t be our last, I’m sure. These things happen. Listen, I have nothing but respect for Jon Jones. I’ve been saying the guy is the GOAT. There’s all this debate out there over who the GOAT is. There is no debate. Jon Jones has been doing this forever, and despite all the things he’s done outside of the octagon, the guy has never lost a fight. Never lost a fight. And he’s fought the Who’s Who of the sport.”
Indeed, Jones’ greatness cannot be questioned. His decision-making, however, has, at times, been lacking.
“All these other sports are talking about not going because of financial reasons, cutting the pay in half, doing this, doing that – I’m not cutting anybody’s pay,” White said. “I haven’t laid off any employees. I’m not cutting anybody’s pay. And Jon Jones wants a lot more money. It’s just not realistic right now.”
Still, that hasn’t stopped Jones from requesting a release from UFC. White said that will not be happening.
“I went through a lot of stuff with Jon Jones over the last however many years,” White said. “I’m going to release him now? Are you mad? . . . Here’s the thing that you guys got to understand, too. He’s a partner in the Pay-Per-View. He has an unlimited potential to make money. The problem is he looks at guys like Conor [McGregor] and Khabib [Nurmagomedov] and says, ‘Well, I’m looked at as the GOAT. Why don’t I make as much money as they do?’”