Jon Jones has demanded $30million to challenge UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, according to president Dana White.
Jones has not fought since February last year when he outpointed by Dominick Reyes before giving up his light-heavyweight title.
He has been preparing for a move up to heavyweight where Ngannou reigns following his KO win over Stipe Miocic last month.
But Jones looks set to price himself out of the fight with White instead planning to hold a rematch between Ngannou and Dereck Lewis.
“He’s [Jones] talking he wants $30 million guaranteed," White told Bill Simmons. "These guys all share in the pay-per-view… so 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. We tried to work with Jon and we eventually have to move on."
Ngannou has made clear his preference is for a clash with Jones but looks set instead for a second meeting with Lewis.
The pair clashed in 2018 with Lewis winning by unanimous decision following one of the worst fights in UFC history.
But White told Yahoo: “It’s probably going to be ‘The Black Beast. At the end of the day, Derrick Lewis and Ngannou is the fight. That’s the fight to make right now.
“Derrick Lewis is a heavyweight, he’s been fighting at heavyweight. He’s earned this shot (against Ngannou),” he continued. “He’s got a win over him. It’s the fight to make.”
Jones, meanwhile, has previously claimed he would need more than $10m to fight Ngannou.
He said last month: "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.
"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.
"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.
"I’ve been working my a** off for years, concussions, surgeries, fighting the toughest competition UFC had to offer throughout my 20s for right around two million per fight. I’m just trying to have my pay day, the fight that all of us fighters believe is one day possible."
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