Jon Jones will not be moving up to heavyweight anytime soon. Fans had hoped for such a move, especially considering the UFC light heavyweight champion has been teasing it for years, but the promotion isn’t willing to pony up the money needed to make it happen (or so we think).
The entire situation has taken over the MMA airwaves over the past few weeks as Jones and UFC continue to blame one another for failed negotiations for a potential Francis Ngannou superfight.
Jones swears that UFC immediately said no to any potential bump in pay, while UFC president Dana White revealed earlier this week that the 205-pound champ was looking for an “absurd” amount of money to make the jump up in weight. Of course, Jones took offense and called White a liar for telling fans it was his fault.
Now, after some of the dust has settled, White is revealing more information to the media about what went wrong during negotiations and how much money “Bones” was really asking for.
“I’ll quote him and what he had said to my lawyer. He told my lawyer he wants what Deontay Wilder was paid,” said White during a media scrum Friday (h/t MMA Fighting). “I think it was $30 million was what Deontay Wilder was paid.”
Wilder, who fought Tyson Fury in a boxing rematch this past February, earned close to $30 million in that fight. That kind of money is often made in boxing, but nobody outside of Conor McGregor has eclipsed that mark in MMA for one single fight.
“It’s fun working out in the gym in the morning and seeing tweets from Jon Jones saying I’m lying,” added White. “We have text messages from Jon Jones. It’s not like I can’t prove what I’m saying is true. We have text messages from him but I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to put his text messages out in the press.
“If Jon Jones wants to sit down and take a lie detector test about who’s lying and who’s not, we can do that, too.”
Despite their differences in opinion and seemingly the truth, White still wants to be in business with Jones, who he says is the greatest fighter of all time.
“I don’t want to go there with this guy,” White said. “The guy’s made a lot of money. If you look at Jon Jones’ track record, show me somebody that has the track record that this guy has and has made the money that Jon Jones has made. It doesn’t happen. It’s not like I’m out here on some smash Jon Jones crusade. I like Jon.
“I’m the one actually saying there is no debate, there is no argument. He’s the GOAT. No matter what you think of his last two fights, the three people that matter said he won the fight. The guy’s gone undefeated. He’s fought everybody. He’s fought all the best in the world despite what he’s been doing to himself outside of the Octagon. Going through legal battles, drugs and alcohol, all the things that have gone on with Jon Jones, he is still the world champion.”
What say you, Maniacs? Who is to blame for this latest Jones vs. UFC incident? Can a Jones move to heavyweight somehow be salvaged?