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Cormier: Jon Jones beneath Conor McGregor, doesn’t deserve ‘Notorious’ payday for Ngannou fight

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Interim UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones Press Conference Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, believes he’s earned a payday commensurate with his accomplishments in mixed martial arts (MMA), which include 17 main events and a chest full of “box office gold.”

Not bad for a guy who was once banned from UFC headliners.

But despite his success inside the Octagon, Jones won’t be eligible to receive Conor McGregor-type money. Simply because “Bones” hasn’t been able to transform the industry like “Notorious,” who is widely-considered the second-most popular fighter in UFC history.

That’s according to longtime rival Daniel Cormier.

“I think he does deserve a large number,” Cormier told Ariel Helwani. “I don’t know what Conor makes but I heard Conor makes, like, $15 million to show up. And then he gets all the pay-per-view. If Conor makes $15 million to show up, Jones shouldn’t make what Conor McGregor makes. It should be a tier beneath that.”

Jones reached a stalemate with UFC President Dana White while negotiating a potential super fight against reigning heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. In fact, the dialogue got so heated at one point that “Bones” was forced to ask for his release.

“Does Jon Jones make what Khabib (Nurmagomedov) makes? If Khabib makes $8 million to $10 million, yes. But I don’t believe he should make what Conor McGregor makes,” Cormier continued. “There should be a difference in the pay scale because of what he has meant to the company. But in the $8 million to $10 million range? I think that works. I believe with 100% certainty, (UFC) would give (Jones) $10 million to show up and fight Francis Ngannou. And that’s him getting his money. Because he’s never made $10 million before to show. He said he makes $5 million, right? So if he makes $5 million, then you’re doubling what he makes to go and fight Francis.”

The promotion may have reservations about giving Jones another high-profile bout considering his turbulent past. “Bones” has failed multiple drug tests over the last few years and at one point, was too busy fighting Johnny Law to continue his Octagon adventures.

Something Cormier is all-too familiar with.

“We fought on a number of occasions, and every time something happened after,” Cormier said. “What if something happens after? Now you’ve got a vacant heavyweight championship and you pay this guy all this money. And that’s the problem. And it’s hard for me to say that because of our history. But it’s like, UFC 214, him and I. He beat me. Take your belt, take your money, go home. But instead, there’s an issue. Now what? You’re just gonna put the belt back on Francis.”

With Jones temporarily out of the picture, Ngannou will move on to fight Derrick Lewis.