The biggest fight the UFC could make right now outside of Conor McGregor – Dustin Poirier 3 is a heavyweight title fight between Francis Ngannou (16-3) and Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC). That’s a fight that the world wants to see.
The winner of that fight would take on Jon Jones who vacated his light heavyweight title last year to move to heavyweight. While that has been the plan all along, things have hit a brick wall in terms of the financial negotiations.
Things have become so testy between Jones and the UFC that Jones requested his release from the promotion. Today, Jones took to Twitter and seemed to shed a little light on the financial negotiations.
Jones said that the UFC‘s lawyer, Hunter Campbell, called him a few days ago. The former light heavyweight champion said that any offer that was in the range of $8-10 million would be, “Way too low.”
What will the UFC do?
The one thing I will say is that I don’t think it was in Jones’ best interest to let this play out publicly. In reality, while it’s the best fight to make and the biggest fight to make, Jones doesn’t hold a ton of leverage here.
The UFC has a very solid backup option and the backup option is ready to go. That backup option is the popular, Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC). Lewis took to Twitter and made it clear that he would accept the fight for $8 million.
It’s pretty obvious that Lewis would be willing to do it for a lot less than that even. Dana White has already said that Lewis could be the next in line to take on Francis Ngannou if Jones prices himself out of the fight.
With Ngannou wanting to be an active champion, I wouldn’t be shocked if the UFC starts the process of moving on from this fight if things don’t progress. The promotion is targeting August for the return of Ngannou.
Given the current timelines, I would give the negotiations another week or two. If the UFC doesn’t get any closer with Jon Jones, they will move on. One thing we know about Dana White is that he’s not going to bend over backwards to appease Jon Jones.