It’s only been a few days since Jon Jones stated on social media that the only way he would accept a Heavyweight title fight against recently-crowned champion, Francis Ngannou, would be if the promotion increases his pay. In those short three days, however, things have gone south in a hurry with UFC President, Dana White, pretty much scoffing at “Bones’” request, leading to a very irate former Light Heavyweight champion going as far as asking to be released from his contract.
But, the other man in the equation, Ngannou, understands where Jones is coming from, saying that “Bones” asking for more money is justified given the magnitude of the potential 265-pound title fight. Also, if we’re talking numbers, Ngannou would also like to get paid a bit more for his services in a “mega” fight.
“I believe that Jon Jones wants this fight,” Ngannou told TMZ Sports (via MMA Junkie). “I believe he’ll want it to happen because it’s going to be a massive fight, mega-fight – basically one of the biggest. I mean, he’s been around so long, and he’s been champ for a very long time, but I think this might be the biggest fight of his career, in mine. So I think he wants that thing. He wants to put something like this on his legacy, on his resume, so I truly believe he wants this fight to happen.
“As far as the (numbers), yeah, he’s asking for money,” Ngannou continued. “He said, ‘Show me the money,’ but I think it makes sense. I think for a mega-fight everyone would like to have mega-pay, (same) as mine. I want that fight. I would like to have good pay, and every other fighter out there would like that, so there’s nothing irrational in this.”
After Ngannou knocked out Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 to win the title (video replay here), it’s only logical to believe that “The Predator’s” pay will increase in his next fight regardless of who he faces. But when it comes to such a marquee match up against the pound-for-pound best fighter on the planet, an increase in pay only makes sense for all parties involved.
“Everything is just normal,” Ngannou concluded. “Everybody is expecting we are doing this in order to one day have a big payday, a big fight day, and when that moment comes, you are like, ‘I wish I had what I wanted.’ So I believe in it, and I see ‘Show the money,’ for me, proof that, yes, he really wants, or if you show the money, he’s going to fight.”
History isn’t on Jones’ (or Ngannou’s) side because Dana White and Co. have rarely budged when it comes to money demands from fighters. That means if the two sides can’t come to a mutual agreement, the highly-anticipated Heavyweight title fight will fall by the wayside.
Should that happen, things will only worsen in the relationship between the former 205-pound champion and the promotion, which could unfortunately put “Bones” on ice for an extended period of time.
Unless we can still make this happen.