Is Jon Jones value $25 million in a brilliant battle in opposition to Francis Ngannou »



Feb 15, 2020; Rio Rancho, New Mexico, USA; UFC fighter Jon Jones attends the sunshine heavyweight bout between Jan Blachowicz (blue) and Corey Anderson (purple) throughout UFC Battle Night time at Santa Ana Star Enviornment. Necessary Credit score: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports activities

Ever since Francis Ngannou turned the UFC heavyweight champion at UFC 260 with a second-round knockout of Stipe Miocic, the lots have been calling for a brilliant battle between the brand new champion and former gentle heavyweight champion, Jon Jones. Each Jones and Ngannou have additionally made it recognized that they need the battle however the one hold-up is a contract dispute between Jones and the UFC.

By no means thoughts the resumes each Ngannou and Jones would carry into the battle, the implications of what it could imply for each fighters is strictly why the UFC must pony up and pay him the correct amount. Jones has just lately stated that $8 to $10 million is “manner too low” for a battle in opposition to Ngannou, and given what the battle may do revenue-wise, it’s onerous to argue in opposition to that. At this level, it could be clever for the corporate to both hand Jones a clean verify or meet him with a suggestion that’s respectable and worthwhile for all events concerned.

Transferring as much as heavyweight: An even bigger problem, actually

For years Jon Jones was a mainstay contained in the UFC’s gentle heavyweight division, laying waste to all who stood reverse the Octagon from him, racking up 11 title defenses throughout two stints as champion. In these 11 title defenses, Jones defeated 5 opponents who had been additionally gentle heavyweight champions sooner or later of their respective careers. In his final UFC look, Jones was pushed to the restrict by Dominick Reyes of their gentle heavyweight title battle at UFC 247 in February of 2020, and after choosing up the victory he would vacate the title.

Opening the door for a brand new period of sunshine heavyweights to rise, Jones introduced his intentions to maneuver as much as heavyweight and was instantly within the fitness center placing on weight and dealing his manner as much as 245 kilos with the intention to put together for the larger opponents who await him, together with Ngannou, one of many hardest strikers in UFC historical past.

Displaying a real dedication to this new problem of heavyweight fighters is simply one of many many causes that the UFC must open their checkbook and offers Jones a contract that’s worthwhile. He might be dealing with larger competitors, with stronger frames and extra punishing putting energy from the likes of Ngannou, Derrick Lewis, and Miocic who may all probably be future opponents.

Danger vs reward: Jon Jones understands each side

Throughout a 2020 look on Steve-O’s podcast, Jones detailed the dangers and rewards of shifting as much as heavyweight, taking over an intimidating challenger like Ngannou who may “break his jaw” and people dangers name for a much bigger pay day. Jones additionally acknowledeged {that a} transfer as much as heavyweight may imply his day “will come” and he could possibly be on the shedding finish of a battle for the primary time in his life.

The half that has but to be put within the highlight by Jones is the reward that might include him securing the UFC heavyweight title. We’re in a brand new period of UFC legacies, the place double champion standing throughout two completely different weight divisions carries essentially the most weight as a defining second for a fighter’s legacy. It’s not that Jones must develop into a two-weight champion with the intention to cement his place in UFC and MMA historical past, however to probably defeat Ngannou and add one other belt to to his profession, would make an amazing argument for the best combined martial artist of all-time.

$10 million is “manner too low”

On the subject of UFC superstardom Jon Jones is in the identical dialog as Conor McGregor due to the resumes and recognition they create into every battle. That reputation results in extra curiosity which provides as much as extra PPV buys and ticket gross sales, and whereas the UFC shouldn’t be working below regular circumstances of full crowds, they’ll nonetheless afford to pay their largest superstars.

Apples to apples: To convey a comparability, at UFC 257 with a restricted crowd on ‘Battle Island’ McGregor made a disclosed quantity of $3 million however walked away with rather more after sponsorship income added in after the very fact.

  • After Jones made his intentions recognized about shifting to heavyweight, UFC President Dana White stated Jones was searching for “Deontay Wilder” cash, which was round $25 million with added PPV share factors, for his battle in opposition to Tyson Fury, a declare that Jones denied, however that ought to be the focused vary to get a deal carried out.
  • With $8-10 million being “manner too low” for Jones, he ought to be trying to get across the $25 million vary and PPV share factors included.

Not solely is it a title battle, however Jones’ champion resume is on the road, and he can be dealing with one of many scariest opponents of his profession, that does matter.

Dana White vs Jon Jones

Mar 4, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (left) greets fighter Jon Jones throughout a press convention previous to weigh-ins for UFC 196 at MGM Grand Backyard Enviornment. Necessary Credit score: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports activities

If Jon Jones and the UFC can’t come to an settlement and the battle between him and Ngannou falls via, what’s the backup plan for Jones’ subsequent transfer?

Why it issues: UFC President Dana White made it clear that Derrick Lewis may take Jones’ spot if the UFC and Jones couldn’t come to phrases, however he by no means stated what that may imply for Jones.

  • After spending a yr making ready and coaching for a heavyweight transfer, would the UFC supply him a battle with Stipe Miocic, and would they pay up for that battle?
  • There’s no logical purpose that Jones or the UFC ought to anticipate a soar again right down to gentle heavyweight for Jones, so are they content material with leaving one in all their largest superstars on the sideline?

The underside line: As a lot because it is smart for the UFC to e-book (and pay) Jones vs Ngannou, it could be much more silly for them to skip out on the massive alternative for a once-in-a-lifetime battle between two of the perfect to ever grace the Octagon. Sure, it’s {dollars} and cents relating to making a battle occur, however the {dollars} should be there for Jones as a result of that is the one UFC heavyweight title battle that is smart to be subsequent.



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