Anticipation for a blockbuster match-up between former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and newly minted heavyweight titleholder Francis Ngannou was off the charts before it was ever really a possibility. Now that it could be happening, it appeared UFC president Dana White put a damper on the excitement.
Or did he?
We’re soon going to find out, as Jones recently admitted in a storm of tweets that he is talking with UFC brass about making the fight happen despite he and White’s public war of words.
After Ngannou took the belt from Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 on Saturday night, everyone expected a quick, Ngannou vs. Jones is next. That didn’t happen.
Instead, Jones tweeted out, “Show me the money.” White then responded by insinuating that Jones didn’t really want the fight, that he should be scared to fight Ngannou following his spectacular performance against Miocic.
Was Jon Jones and Dana White’s war of words simply posturing for negotiations?
Despite their vitriol, it is starting to look more and more like Jones and White are simply negotiating the bout through media and social media, just like Daniel Cormier said recently.
This is a fight that everyone, including the UFC’s Joe Rogan, is calling a once in a lifetime opportunity. The potential for this fight is that it could be bigger than any other in UFC history, including Conor McGregor’s bout opposite Khabib Nurmagomedov.
With so much on the line, Jones doesn’t want to fight the bout for a standard contract. This fight could set records and he wants a piece of that pie.
In a storm of tweets on Wednesday, Jones said that he had been speaking with UFC brass (not Dana White) and let them know that an $8 to $10 million payday wasn’t going to be good enough for a bout of this magnitude.
“I had a brief phone meeting with UFC‘s lawyer Hunter a few days ago. As of right now I expressed to him that anywhere around eight to $10 million would be way too low for a fight of this magnitude. That’s all that has been discussed so far,” Jones wrote.
“I’m supposed to be waiting for what their offer is going to be. Really hoping the numbers are nowhere near that low. I guess we will see what happens.”
Jones at least set somewhat of a bar for the UFC to come back with something that might be acceptable to the man that many consider to be the greatest fighter of all time. Whether they do or not remains to be seen.
Excitement is still building for Jon Jones vs. Francis Ngannou
The fight is really all anyone has been talking about since Ngannou won the belt. Talk of a Miocic rematch went immediately out the window. White floated Derrick Lewis’s name as the fight to make, but that was surely as much posturing on his part.
Even with Nate Diaz expected to return opposite Leon Edwards at UFC 262, pundits and fans alike are waiting with bated breath for developments on the Jones vs. Ngannou bout, and Jones knows it.
“One thing I’m sure of, I’ve never had more people excited to see A fight than they are now, I literally can’t walk to my mail box without someone asking me about the fight.”
UFC 260 highlights & recap: Francis Ngannou blasts Stipe Miocic!
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