Chatting with The Ringer, White touched upon the continuing negotiations for a highly-anticipated superfight between Ngannou, the UFC’s present heavyweight champion, and Jon Jones, the best gentle heavyweight fighter within the promotion’s historical past. White and Jones have been locked in public negotiations for over a yr now over the potential of Jones transferring as much as heavyweight and instantly combating for the title. New life was breathed into the dialog when Ngannou beat Stipe Miocic to turn into champion at UFC 260.
White has overtly questioned whether or not Jones truly needs to battle Ngannou, whereas Jones has made it clear that his reservations for signing on for the bout are strictly monetary. Jones stated that a suggestion within the “$8-10 million vary” isn’t sufficient to battle Ngannou and Jones’ coach Mike Winkeljohn went so far as to say that Jones might be price as a lot as $50 million in that situation.
With prime heavyweight contender Derrick Lewis ready within the wings—and holding a previous choice win over Ngannou—White isn’t frightened about how lengthy it’s going to take to work out a take care of Jones.
“What we do is each Saturday evening I placed on fights and whoever needs to battle, we’ll make it and we’ll put ‘em in there,” White stated. “We tried to work with Jon and we ultimately have to maneuver on. As a result of realistically, in all honesty, Derrick Lewis is the man who deserves the battle. Derrick Lewis is a heavyweight, he beat Francis Ngannou, he’s regarded good in his final couple of fights, he’s ranked within the top-three, I feel. He deserves the battle, in order that’s the battle that ought to occur, we’ll simply roll and do what we do.
“When Jon’s prepared, he’ll tell us.”
Jones has been one of many UFC’s most dominant fighters since debuting with the promotion in 2008 and has been a dependable, if unspectacular pay-per-view draw. He has been vocal about desirous to obtain better compensation, even hinting at a retirement in Might of final yr as protest.
He hasn’t fought since efficiently defending the sunshine heavyweight title (later vacated) towards Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 final February and White isn’t stunned that Jones has caught to his weapons to this point. It’s a situation his crew is used to by now.
“This occurs quite a bit,” White stated. “What occurs quite a bit on this sport is these guys are beneath contract. They signal offers after which a battle will pop up and so they’re like, ‘I don’t need to battle for that deal now. I desire a new deal.’ Pay attention, you need everyone joyful. You’ll be able to’t make everyone joyful however you need to make ‘em as joyful as you presumably can. So we’ll attempt to determine one thing out and if we are able to we are going to and we get the deal achieved, and if we are able to’t we received’t and it’s as much as him whether or not he needs to battle once more.”
As for what the quantity is that Jones is searching for, White repeated a previous declare that Jones is searching for related numbers to what heavyweight boxer Deontay Wilder was paid to rematch Tyson Fury, a declare that Jones has vehemently refuted.
White acknowledged that Ngannou vs. Jones is the most important matchup that may be made outdoors of “McGregor-anybody,” however doesn’t plan to interrupt the financial institution for it. He believes the UFC’s present mannequin of paying prime stars their contracted purse and a share of the pay-per-view earnings continues to be the easiest way to go about enterprise.
“In his deal, he’s speaking he needs $30 million assured,” White stated. “The best way that this works is these guys all share within the pay-per-view, so that you simply stated your self you suppose that that is gonna be an enormous battle. I agree with you and suppose it’s gonna be an enormous battle, effectively he’ll share within the earnings of the battle. That’s the way it works. That’s the way you run a enterprise and also you don’t go broke, that’s how that works.”