Former UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier weighed in on how much pound-for-pound great Jon Jones should make for a potential fight against heavyweight titleholder Francis Ngannou.
Jones vacated the 205-pound title last August to pursue a title run in the heavyweight division. He’s yet to compete in the higher weight class, but it was expected that he’d get a title shot in his first fight as a heavyweight. “Bones” is currently trying to renegotiate his contract to receive a considerable increase in pay to face Ngannou in what would be a super fight.
UFC president Dana White recently stated that Jones wanted $30 million to face Ngannou, an amount Jones refutes. The fight promotion moved on to trying to book Ngannou against no. 2 ranked Derrick Lewis in a rematch. Jones left his longtime management team First Round Management, but hasn’t reached an agreement with the UFC.
During Monday’s edition of the “DC & Helwani” ESPN show, Cormier gave his opinion on how much his former rival should be paid.
“I think he does deserve a large number,” Cormier said. “If Conor McGregor – and I don’t know what Conor makes, but I heard Conor makes like 15 million to show up and then he gets all the pay-per-view. If Conor makes 15 million to show up, Jones shouldn’t make what Conor McGregor makes. If Conor McGregor makes something in that range, Jones shouldn’t make what Conor McGregor makes. It should be a tier beneath that.
“Does Jon Jones make what Khabib makes? If Khabib makes eight to 10 million, yes. But I don’t believe he should make what Conor McGregor makes. I do believe that Conor McGregor, there should be a difference in the pay scale because of what he has meant to the company. But in the eight-to- 10 million range? I think that works.”
Cormier believes that they UFC is willing to pay Jones well to take the fight, but isn’t willing to throw out an astronomical number to make the fight happen.
“I believe with 100% certainty they would give him $10 million to show up and fight Francis Ngannou,” Cormier said. “I believe that … and that’s him getting his money because he’s never made $10 million before to show. He said he makes $5 million, right? So if he makes $5 million, then you’re doubling what he makes to go and fight Francis.”
Cormier also believes that Jones’ past history with anti-doping suspensions and brushes with the law outside of the cage may be why the UFC isn’t willing to pay Jones the type of money that McGregor receives.
“We fought on a number of occasions, and every time something happened after,” Cormier said. “What if something happens after? Now you’ve got a vacant heavyweight championship and you pay this guy all this money. That’s the problem, and it’s hard for me to say that because of our history. But it’s like, UFC 214, him and I, he beat me. Take your belt, take your money, go home. But instead, there’s an issue. Now what? You’re just gonna put the belt back on Francis.”