Following Francis Ngannou’s stunning second-round KO of Stipe Miocic, UFC fans quickly turned their attention to one man: Jon Jones. They wanted to see Jones face off against the new UFC Heavyweight champion in his first fight since before the pandemic. “Bones” quickly fired off one tweet: he wanted more money. And he deserves it, no doubt.
The Biggest Fight for Jon Jones Ever
First, Jones deserved more money as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters ever. Jones would be putting his (almost perfect) 28-1 record on the line. He had dominated fights against some of the best (but not as well-known) fighters in the entire company. The Ngannou fight would be indispensable to his legacy and earn him another belt.
Then his potential opponent, Francis Ngannou. Ngannou is on a five-fight win streaks with KOs in each. He knocked out a monster in Stipe Miocic to win his first heavyweight championship. He is also the first African heavyweight champion in UFC history. There is risk in every fight. But a bout with a monster like Ngannou could be incredibly detrimental to Jones’s career
Working for Free Too Long
Jon Jones will be 34 this year. He has been fighting in the UFC since 2008. Over that time span, he has averaged around $2 million per fight. While it can be argued that none of his fight cards have been top financial performers, it is not his fault. Professional fighting is not just about keeping diehard fans entertained. It is also about drawing in casual fans. Cards need to reflect that. Jones has not had that “big name” fight against a guy like Conor McGregor.
I’m not saying the UFC needs to recruit someone like Jake Paul by any means. But most of Jones’s fights have been against incredibly skilled (but not well-known) fighters. This also does fall on Jones’s marketing and promotion.
Dana White has shown that he can pay a fighter. Conor McGregor makes an insane amount of money at the company. However, that wealth has yet to trickle down to anyone else, including Jones. Bones is a better fighter than McGregor. He has helped the company more than nearly anyone over the past decade and a half. It’s not just about the purse. Jones finally deserves a payday in appreciation for everything he’s done. He has said it himself.