Jones (26-1 MMA, 20-1 UFC) has been extremely vocal about his situation since last Saturday when Ngannou knocked out Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 to claim the belt. He posted long streams of Twitter messages about his dispute, which basically boils down to the former light heavyweight champion wanting a better contract to increase his weight.
He hasn’t left that position since announcing he would change weight classes last summer, but it doesn’t look like the UFC wants to hit his quota. Jones said this week that a discount of between $ 8 million and $ 10 million to fight Ngannou is “way too low,” and while he hasn’t revealed an exact asking price, “Bones” promises it is. nothing unreasonable.
“I’m not asking for anything outrageous and I know we are in a pandemic and I know when you are a multimillionaire and you ask for more it makes you sound like that greedy person and I am aware of it all”, Jones said on “Steve-O’s Wild Ride! »Podcast. “But I’m also aware that I have the voice and the platform to make change. Most guys who do the worst can’t say publicly, “I have a second job, I am borrowing money from my parents.” I know so many guys who live in Jackson’s MMA gym because they can’t afford to live in their own apartment, and they’re UFC fighters. So it’s sad.
“If I’m going to have a bad relationship with Dana (White), sit down for two years, three years to shed some light on what’s going on, then those are the things people remember more than winning belts. To defend the young fighters.
Jones said he sees his situation as more complicated because one of the ball pitchers across the negotiating table was not interested in being an ally, but rather an enemy. He displayed a lot of frustration over UFC President Dana White’s comments that he was trying to afford a fight with Ngannou because maybe he didn’t really want it to happen.
This isn’t the first time Jones has felt belittled by the way White talks about him in public, and it creates a level of tension that makes Jones unhappy with his work environment. He believes there might be a situation that exists for him outside of the UFC that would be better for him, but doesn’t seem to be hopeful that his request for release from his contract will ever be met.
“This is the main problem with my situation right now,” Jones said. “In any other professional, if you’re not happy with the way you’re treated or the way you’re paid or whatever, you can just take your shit and go and go see the next boss and see if he does.” you appreciate more. In my situation, I would be forced to withdraw from combat altogether unless I wanted to be a coach or own a gym. My hands are tied.
“I sincerely believe that the companies that own Bellator and those other leagues have the same financial support as the UFC. And I believe Jon Jones is the new face of your promotion, especially today when I’m really making an effort for the first time to put my shit together a little bit. … I think now is the time for any business to have me and my goal is to be an asset to any business I’m a part of. And I have a feeling that if I could get out of my UFC contract, I would be huge for another company. I just wish my relationship with Dana wasn’t what it is. I understand that you have to earn these hundreds of millions of dollars on me, but if you don’t love me anymore, if you don’t love me completely. I don’t feel like he really loves me. I’ve never had a whiskey night and dinners and shit like this. I don’t think I’m his favorite person and I think it’s very clear when you watch one of his interviews happen.
“What I mean is if that’s what it is and it’s gotten to a point of being personal, then I’d much rather work for a company where I feel at home when I’m going to work. I have a great relationship with the UFC staff, it’s just a weird thing when you feel like they don’t want you there.
Jones isn’t the first fighter to have had a public argument with the UFC brass over pay. He certainly won’t be the last either. He said what makes his situation different, however, is that he’s not in a position where he has to bend under pressure.
As one of the most successful fighters in the UFC for more than a decade, Jones said he has accumulated a level of wealth that allows him to never fight again. This means he’s going to be on his heels until he gets a deal that he considers fair. And he predicts that the UFC will end up doing him some good.
“The UFC will continue whether I fight or not,” Jones said. “I have nothing to lose in the position I am in right now. I don’t want to fight soon. I have no interest in fighting in the UFC until I get paid what I think I’m worth. … I think it’s really powerful to stand up for what you think is right, and I think the UFC will eventually realize that they are stubborn, they will realize that they have a special athlete in me and i think they will meet me finally halfway.
Jones said one of the reasons he didn’t make the jump to heavyweight earlier in his career is that the UFC won’t pay him accordingly. He doesn’t think it’s fair for him to get the same fight rate at 205 pounds – where he would be favored over everyone else – at heavyweights, where he’s already been instilled as a betting underdog. Ngannou.
The risk has to be worth the reward, Jones said, and that comes with more pay up front of his contract for just stepping into the Octagon.
“I think I’m even more beatable as a heavyweight, and that’s why I went to Dana White looking for a raise,” Jones said. “Daniel Cormier got a raise when he moved on to heavyweight, I was looking for a raise to become heavyweight. Francis Ngannou is scary. Chances are he’ll break my jaw. I agree with that. As a fighter I’ve yelled enough that if someone ends up catching me then we all have our day. I agree with that. But that should be accompanied by a salary increase. I think in heavyweights the pay-per-view numbers will inevitably increase, more people will watch. ”
Despite this risk, Jones is convinced that he would beat Ngannou. He said that after building up a UFC Hall of Fame career that puts him in the best fighter of all time argument, he’s ready to “risk it all” by fighting Ngannou and other heavyweights to add another layer to its legacy.
The idea that Jones is afraid of fighting Ngannou or the result of a potential fight isn’t something that resonates with Jones, he said. Jones has shown one of the greatest fighting IQs of all in MMA history, and he knows what would happen to dethrone Ngannou if they shared the Octagon.
“Francis Ngannou, it’s very simple: be comfortable with the worst case scenario,” Jones said. “The worst case is he knocks you out, maybe he breaks a bone in your face. This is the worst case scenario. You feel comfortable with this idea, it becomes easy. If he doesn’t knock you out and break your face (because) you’re smart, you’re fast, you have a chin, you have a great head movement, you can wrestle.
“There are a lot of ways that things can go. So I just think of the worst case scenario and mentally move to a place where you almost get into this kind of situation, like, “OK, I’m getting ready to go over there and this guy could possibly hurt me tonight.” »Francis Ngannou is dangerous, I think he has a chance to hit me, let’s say it out loud. But if I’m not knocked out, I believe I win this fight. I just have to pass the first round and I win this fight.