UFC ‘will NOT wait around for Jon Jones’ amid furious pay row and are ‘ready to make Francis Ngannou vs Derrick Lewis rematch’ rather than meet American’s demands
- Francis Ngannou became heavyweight champion with KO of Stipe Miocic
- Victory set up prospect of massive fight against all-time great Jon Jones
- But American has been embroiled in yet another row over pay with the UFC
- The company are understood to be unwilling to meet Jones’ demands
The UFC will not meet Jon Jones’ pay demands and have gone cold on the idea of a mega-fight between the American and Francis Ngannou.
‘Bones’ is embroiled in another bitter feud with his employers and last week said £7million would be way too low an offer to take on the new heavyweight champion.
But according to ESPN, the UFC are refusing to budge and are now looking at making the Derrick Lewis rematch instead.
Jon Jones is unlikely to have his demands met by the UFC for a fight with Francis Ngannou
Derrick Lewis undercut Jones and said he’d take the fight for less money than him
‘UFC has kicked the tires on Francis Ngannou vs. Derrick Lewis on June 12’, Ariel Helwani wrote on Twitter.
‘However the timing doesn’t work for Ngannou (and I don’t blame him; he just won the belt). Bigger story here, IMO, is, at least for now, they don’t seem keen on waiting around for (Jon) Jones.
‘Since 6/12, at least for now, doesn’t viable, do they revisit Jones? Maybe. But Lewis is ready, willing and able.
‘Wouldn’t be surprised if they just try to book that rematch for sometime later in the summer/fall. Doesn’t look like they are willing to meet Jones’ price right now.’
Jones’ coach, Mike Winkeljohn, believes the fight with Ngannou could even be worth around £36m to his man if the UFC were willing to give him his worth.
‘I don’t see why it wouldn’t be a $50 million fight’, he told Submission Radio. ‘And the UFC still makes bank, and is able to pay off a lot of the debt they have and go forward. I think the UFC needs a superstar like Jon Jones. I think
‘Conor McGregor was the guy for a while, and he’s fallen off. But those big names is what makes the UFC money, ultimately.’
Jones is desperate for the fight having vacated his light-heavyweight belt for the move up a division.
Last week he talked up just how big a clash with Ngannou could be. He said: ‘I feel like this fight is monumental, matchup‘s like this don’t come very often in a lifetime.
‘Me stopping Francis in my first fight up at heavyweight would be nothing short of extraordinary. Ali versus foreman, hosted by the UFC.
Dana White is looking into booking Lewis vs Ngannou II as the next heavyweight title fight
‘I’ve been working my ass off for years, concussions, surgeries, fighting the Toughest competition UFC had to offer throughout my 20s for right around 2 million per fight.
‘I’m just trying to have my payday, the fight that all of us fighters Believe is one day possible.’
Lewis and Ngannou put on one of the worst fights in heavyweight history, which the American won on the scorecards.
But both men have since bounced back with a string of KO victories and it is the obvious fight to make for the UFC if they are adamant about not negotiating with Jones.
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