Dana White still Balking At Jon Jones Pay Demands; Targets Ngannou vs. Lewis

A few weeks have passed since Jon Jones first made it clear he expected a massive payday in order to fight Francis Ngannou for the heavyweight title, but it seems as if not much has changed in terms of Dana White seeing eye-to-eye with him on the matter.

“We tried to work with Jon and we eventually have to move on because, realistically, in all honesty, Derrick Lewis is the guy who deserves the fight,” White said onTheRinger.com podcast.  “Derrick Lewis is a heavyweight. He beat Francis Ngannou. He’s looked good in his last couple of fights. He’s ranked in the top three, I think. He deserves the fight, so that’s the fight that should happen. We’ll just roll and do what we do. When Jon’s ready, he’ll let us know.”

“In his deal, he’s talking he wants $30 million guaranteed.  The way that this works is these guys all share in the pay-per-view. 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.”

However, Jones has since responded questioning where White is getting his figures from.

I never discussed wanting 30 million with you or Hunter @danawhite,” Jones wrote on Twitter.

“just wondering where you heard that number? Is someone speaking with you on my behalf or…”

So, unfortunately it seems that this superfight for the ages is no closer to fruition and leaves Jones in an awkward spot given that he’s already spent months bulking up to heavyweight, as his old rival Rashad Evans recently pointed out.

“Jon Jones has already put himself in the position where he doesn’t have the negotiating tools,” Evans stated on the 1, 2 podcast.  “He’s given up the belt at 205lbs, he’s already put on a ton of weight, a ton of size to fight at heavyweight. So right now, if I was Jon’s team, that was something you kind of negotiate before you give up the belt and before you decide to make all these changes in your diet. I mean, to me it seems kind of backwards for him to now say, ‘Show me the Money.’ Show me the money was when he was the 205lbs champion and then he decided to go up. I don’t know, maybe sometimes Jon just doesn’t say the best things, you know what I’m saying? But hopefully, that fight gets done.”


Ross launched MMA Insight (previously FightOfTheNight.com) in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.