The UFC’s light heavyweight champion has engaged in a very public war of words with promotion president Dana White over the past few weeks after he attempted to negotiate a move up to heavyweight for a showdown against Francis Ngannou. When talks broke down almost immediately, Jones aired his grievances on social media, which set off a back-and-forth exchange with White over the money he’s being paid and the value he brings to the UFC.
While the UFC president routinely calls Jones “the GOAT,” he has scoffed at the financial demands made by the longest reigning champion in the history of the 205-pound division.
At this point, Jones is still more than willing to sit back down at the negotiating table, but he said the UFC will have to come with a better offer – or he won’t be back in the octagon any time soon.
“I got nothing to lose being the position I’m in right now,” Jones said when speaking on the “Wild Ride!” podcast hosted by Steve-O. “No, I don’t want to fight soon. I have no interest in fighting in the UFC until I get paid what I believe I’m worth. A lot of fans will continue to watch the UFC and support the UFC and I have no problem with that. I just ordered the last pay-per-view myself.
“But I think it’s really powerful when you stand up for what you believe is right. I think that eventually the UFC will realize that they’re being stubborn. They’ll realize they do have a special athlete in myself. I think they’ll eventually meet me halfway.”
Part of White’s criticism when it came to Jones’ financial demands was claiming that he asked for money comparable to boxer Deontay Wilder, who reportedly made around $30 million for his most recent fight.
Jones denied that he ever asked for that much money to fight again and he refutes claims that he’s trying to gouge the UFC for more than what he’s worth to them.
“I’m not asking for anything outrageous,” Jones said. “I know we’re in a pandemic and I know when you’re a multi-millionaire and you’re asking for more it makes you seem like this greedy person and all this type of things. I’m very aware of all this. But I’m also very aware that I have the voice and the platform to make change.
“Most of the guys who are doing the absolute worst [financially] are not in a position that they could say publicly, ‘I have a second job, I’m borrowing money from my parents.’ I know so many fighters that are living in the Jackson’s MMA gym because they can’t afford to have their own apartment and they’re UFC fighters. This is sad.”