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Jon Jones Denies Dana White's Claim He Demanded $30M for Francis Ngannou Fight

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 24, 2021

Dana White, center, stands between Daniel Cormier, left, and Jon Jones during a UFC 200 mixed martial arts news conference, Wednesday, July 6, 2016, in Las Vegas. Cormier and Jones are scheduled to fight in a light heavyweight championship fight at UFC 200 on Saturday. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones refuted a statement from UFC President Dana White about the negotiations for a potential heavyweight title fight against Francis Ngannou.

White explained during an appearance Thursday on The Bill Simmons Podcast they'd "tried to work" with Jones but a financial agreement wasn't possible.

"In his deal, he's talking he wants $30 million guaranteed," White said, per The Athletic. "The way that this works is these guys all share in the pay-per-view. ... 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."

Jones responded to that claim Friday night on Twitter:

The 33-year-old New York native didn't provide any further details about the Ngannou fight talks.

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Jones, one of the UFC's top draws, hasn't stepped inside the Octagon since he successfully defended his light heavyweight belt against Dominick Reyes in February 2020. He vacated the title in August amid a contract dispute.

In June, "Bones" said on Steve-O's Wild Ride Podcast he wasn't demanding "anything outrageous" and was trying to take a stand to benefit future fighters.

"And if I have to have a bad relationship with Dana, sit out for two years, three years, to bring light to what's happening, then these are the things people remember you for more than winning belts. I stood for the younger fighters," Jones said, per ESPN.

White noted on The Bill Simmons Podcast he's shifted his focus to Derrick Lewis as Ngannou's next challenger, though final details haven't been confirmed. Lewis won a previous meeting by unanimous decision in July 2018.

Meanwhile, Jones' return to the UFC remains a mystery.