The back-and-forth between former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and promotion president Dana White continues.
On Friday, Jones took to social media to refute a claim by White that the ex-champ had requested a 30 million dollar guaranteed purse to fight heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. In the same interview, White stated that top contender Derrick Lewis was likely next for Ngannou as a result.
Hold the phone. “I never discussed wanting 30 million with you or Hunter [Campbell, UFC Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer],” Jones wrote in a Tweet Friday night, tagging White in the process. “Just wondering where you heard that number? Is someone speaking with you on my behalf or…”
I never discussed wanting 30 million with you or Hunter @danawhite just wondering where you heard that number? Is someone speaking with you on my behalf or…
— BONY (@JonnyBones) April 23, 2021
The saga has been ongoing for over a year now, prior to Ngannou winning the belt. Talk first arose after Ngannou defeated Jair Rozenstruik at UFC 249. Then billed as a super-fight, Jones opted to hold out for more money to move to heavyweight and take on “The Predator.” Although the fight never materialized, he vacated the 205lb title and prepared to change weight classes regardless.
Things went silent more or less until the approach of UFC 260, where Ngannou would go on to defeat Stipe Miocic in their rematch. Ahead of the fight, White had suggested Jones would face the winner.
However, money appears to again be the sticking point. Speaking to The Ringer this week, White stated that “[Jones is] talking he wants $30 million guaranteed,” going on to suggest that Jones could come close, but only via PPV dollars. “The way that this works is these guys all share in the pay-per-view, so you just said yourself you think that this is gonna be a big fight. I agree with you and think it’s gonna be a big fight, well he will share in the profits of the fight. That’s how it works. That’s how you run a business and you don’t go broke, that’s how that works.”
Clearly, Jones is confused as to where the 30 million estimate claim came from. In the past, White has also made the claim that Jones is looking for “Deontay Wilder” money to compete as a heavyweight.