Ngannou won the belt last month at UFC 260 by knocking out then-champ Stipe Miocic in the second round of their main event contest.
For months, “Bones” had been the presumed fighter to compete against the winner of that bout. Jones vacated his light heavyweight title in August 2020 and has since been preparing his body to fight north of 205-pounds, something he hasn’t done in the UFC before.
UFC president Dana White also confirmed to the media on several occassions that Jones would fight for the heavyweight championship in his debut.
However, Jones and Dana White have not met eye-to-eye on Bones’ pay for a fight with “The Predator.” Speaking on The Bill Simmons Podcast recently, White said Jones wants $30 million guranteed to compete whereas the UFC president wants to award him PPV points instead of a massive gurantee.
“In this deal, he’s talking he wants $30 million guaranteed,” White said via LowKickMMA.com.
“The way this works is, you know, these guys all share on the pay-per-view. You’ve just said yourself; you think this is going to be a big fight. I agree with you and think it’s going to be a big fight,” White continued. “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.”
“You can’t make everybody happy, but you want to make them as happy as you possibly can,” he continued. “So, you know, we’ll, we’ll try to figure something out. If we can, we, will and we’ll get the deal done. If we can’t, we won’t and it’s up to him, whether he wants to fight again.”
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White Said No. 1-Ranked Derrick Lewis ‘Deserves the Fight’
If Jones wasn’t moving up to heavyweight, No. 2-ranked Derrick Lewis would likely be the sole frontrunner for a fight with Ngannou. “The Black Beast” defeated Ngannou in 2018 and is currently riding a four-fight win streak which is capped off by a knock out of Curtis Blaydes in February.
White said the UFC will look toward Lewis as The Predator’s first title defense should they be unable to make a deal with Bones.
“Every Saturday night I put on fights and whoever wants to fight, we’ll make it and we’ll put them in there,” White said. “We tried to work with Jon and you know, we eventually have to move on because realistically and in all honesty, Derrick Lewis is the guy who deserves the fight.
“Derrick Lewis is a heavyweight who beat Francis Ngannou. He’s looked good in his last couple of fights. He’s ranked in the top three I think and 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.”
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