UFC president Dana White and light heavyweight champion Jon Jones have been butting heads over the past few days. The reason: fighter pay issues linked to a potential matchup between “Bones” and heavyweight standout Francis Ngannou.
White claimed that Jones demanded for “Deontay Wilder money,” which made Jon call his boss a “f—ng liar” and demand his UFC release. During the post-fight media scrum on Saturday, White once again spoke about the ongoing issue after a reporter asked him about it.
“The f—k would I lie for? What do I gain in lying about it? Why would I lie? It doesn’t matter,” he said.
“Obviously, he’s fired up right now and he had a great talk yesterday with Hunter, my lawyer… he’s really close to Jon Jones and likes him and they have a good relationship, and they had a good talk yesterday, but it is what it is.
“I really don’t care. I could care less, to be honest with you.
White gave out some numbers that Jones supposedly demanded. He also isn’t closing his doors on the long-time 205-pound champion, despite demands for a release.
“I’m always looking at what Jon Jones could’ve been. He could’ve been the Lebron of this sport,” White said. “He could’ve been literally that big. The stuff that he’s been through to show up and basically demand $15 million or $20 million or $30 million. It’s crazy.
“He can do whatever he wants to do. He can sit out, he can fight, he can whatever. Jon Jones can say whatever he wants publicly, it’s his God-given right here in America, he can say whatever he wants. And when he’s ready to come back and fight, he can.”
One of Jones’ tweets was calling for UFC lawyer Hunter Campbell to release some text messages they’ve apparently exchanged. White also touched on the issue involving Campbell.
“Hunter told him, ‘You can come in here and walk through the numbers, I’ll walk you through all the numbers,’” White said. “And he says, ‘I don’t give a f—k what the numbers are. I want what I want, and that’s it.’ It’s not how life works.
“Being the greatest of all-time doesn’t mean you get $30 million. Being able to sell (does),” he added. “Jon Jones has done a lot of things to himself. In one of his tweets, he’s saying I tarnished his… I tarnished you? You’ve done a very good job of tarnishing you. I haven’t done that.”
Jones, who has actually been one of the UFC’s biggest pay-per-view draws for years, maintains he never gave out any figures to White. He did admit he that makes just a little over $5 million per fight, but isn’t willing to stick to the same figure to move to heavyweight and take a fight against Ngannou.
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