UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and company president Dana White have been in a verbal battle over the past week or so that has the champ asking for his UFC release.
Jones had been trying to drum up a move to heavyweight to fight top contender Francis Ngannou. Jones wanted the bout. Ngannou wanted the bout. At least publicly. But White and the UFC don't appear willing to make it. The sticking point, according to White is Jones wanting an amount of money that he's not willing to pay.
“It’s not like I’m out here on some ‘smash Jon Jones’ crusade. I like Jon. I’m the one saying there is no debate. There’s no argument: He’s the G.O.A.T." White told reporters following the UFC on ESPN 9 weigh-ins on Friday.
“I’ll quote him and what he had said to my lawyer. He told my lawyer he wants what Deontay Wilder was paid (for his Tyson Fury fight). I think it was $30 million, was what Deontay Wilder was paid?”
Wilder was reportedly believed to be paid $30 million. Jones was reportedly paid $500,000 on his disclosed bout agreement, but in a Twitter tirade aimed at White admitted to making $5 million. He fell well short of admitting that he asked for Wilder money, saying to White, "Don't be a f---ing liar."
"I don’t even make half of half of what (Deontay) Wilder makes. If my reputation causes you to undervalue me this much. Just go ahead and release me from my UFC contract altogether," Jones continued. "I’m sure some promoter somewhere will be more than happy to pick me up."
White seems to moved away from even considering Jones vs. Ngannou, instead focusing on the likes of Dominick Reyes or Jan Blachowicz for Jones's next bout, keeping him at light heavyweight.
Dana White counters Jon Jones's claims that he lied about negotiations
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