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‘Grossly underpaid’ Jon Jones won’t fight Francis Ngannou for $8 million — but Derek Lewis will

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UFC Summer Kickoff Press Conference Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who vacated the 205-pound title to try his luck in the heavyweight division, was first in line to challenge newly-crowned 265-pound kingpin Francis Ngannou, who annihilated Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 last weekend in Las Vegas.

But as of this writing, Jones and UFC are miles apart on what that fight is worth.

“I had a brief phone meeting with UFC‘s lawyer Hunter a few days ago,” Jones wrote on Twitter. “As of right now I expressed to him that anywhere around eight to $10 million would be way too low for a fight of this magnitude. That’s all that has been discussed so far.”

Jones tried to finagle a Francis Ngannou fight once before but UFC President Dana White refused to open his wallet. “Bones” took some subsequent heat from combat sports fans for pricing himself out of the fight; however, “The Predator” also refused to compete without a significant bump in pay.

“I’ve been working my ass off for years, concussions, surgeries, fighting the toughest competition UFC had to offer throughout my 20s for right around two million per fight,” Jones continued. “I’m just trying to have my payday, the fight that all of us fighters believe is one day possible.”

Some get there, some don’t.

If Jones doesn’t want to compete for $8 million then UFC heavyweight contender Derrick Lewis gladly will. The eager “Black Beast” — who already holds a tepid decision victory over Ngannou — told his Twitter followers that he was ready for the call.

Jones remains unimpressed.

“I’m sure he would, let him,” Jones wrote about Lewis taking the fight. “Derek also doesn’t have 15 world championships on his resume. Their last fight was one of the most boring heavyweight fights in recent history. Completely different situation.”

No word from UFC on what the plan is moving forward, but Ngannou insists he wants to stay active during his title reign. If Jones is going to reach a deal with the promotion he better do it sooner, rather than later.

“I believe I was grossly underpaid throughout my entire 20s. I’m not even here bitching about that. I just want to see the future done right,” Jones said. “I tweeted ‘show me the money’ and that evidently pissed off the boss. What a learning lesson. I feel like if Conor (McGregor) would’ve sent that same tweet there would have been whiskey night.”

Cheers.