Don’t think that just every UFC heavyweight contender out there is jumping at the bit to fight UFC superstar Jon Jones next. Jones, the longtime UFC light heavyweight champion, vacated his 205-pound belt earlier this year to move up to the heavyweight ranks. But at least one of the division’s top-rated contenders revealed there would be a lot more than just the chance to face Jones to consider if he was offered the fight.
“I would need a bunch more money,” Curtis Blaydes told Heavy.
Blaydes is currently the No. 2-ranked contender to UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic’s throne. The 29-year-old’s next fight is against No. 4-ranked bulldozer Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis.
Blaydes vs. Lewis is the main event of the next UFC Fight Night card in Las Vegas. UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Lewis, aka UFC Vegas 15, takes place live at UFC APEX on November 28.
You can watch all the action via ESPN+.
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Blaydes Explains Condition for Fighting Jones
Don’t misunderstand him. Blaydes is excited about Jones entering the division.
“I think it adds a lot more eyes. He’s Jon Jones. He’s earned all the accolades. He earned all the praise, and he’s also earned a lot of the criticism. But having a guy like Jon in the division just brings a lot more eyes which is always good. So I think it’s a good thing,” Blaydes said.
Still, if the UFC does end up wanting to pair Jones against Blaydes sometime soon, the streaking heavyweight contender believes the company would also need to up his pay for that fight.
According to Blaydes, his current UFC contract pays him $100,000 to show up on fight night, and another $100,000 if he wins.
He would want a lot more for facing Jones.
“I’m not doing it for 100 and 100,” Blaydes said. “Everyone thinks I don’t want to fight Jon, but I don’t have a problem fighting Jon, just not on my current pay scale.”
For Blaydes, any potential fight against Jones comes down to one big thing, at least in his mind.
“You don’t fight a GOAT for 100 grand,” Blaydes said. “I would need a new contract for that fight for sure.”
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Blaydes Wants Heavyweight Title Shot
Blaydes told Heavy he hopes that beating Lewis this weekend puts him in line for a future title shot.
But Blaydes understands his title shot is going to have to come after No. 1-ranked contender Francis Ngannou gets his chance.
Blaydes’ only two UFC losses were knockout losses to Ngannou, the division’s top contender.
“I know I’m not going to get the immediate title shot because I know Ngannou has earned that, and I’m not going to be disrespectful,” Blaydes said.
“But I feel like I should get the winner of Ngannou vs. [Miocic].”
Still, Blaydes also understands that Jones moving up to the heavyweight division could complicate things and that minimally it’s going to give UFC officials plenty to think about next year in terms of how title shots should go down.
Whatever happens, though, Blaydes said none of those things would keep him from focusing on what he can control.
So if Blaydes beats Lewis on Saturday night, then has to wait in line behind both Ngannou and Jones, the American will simply remain focused on improving his game.
“I’ll be ready,” Blaydes said. “I’ll be waiting.”
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