Jon Jones does not deserve to be paid what Conor McGregor earns for a super-fight with Francis Ngannou because ‘Bones’ has let the UFC down with his bad behaviour in the past.
That’s the damning verdict of former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.
Ngannou knocked out Stipe Miocic at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas in April, three years after losing a lopsided decision to the former 265-pound titleholder.
When Ngannou and Miocic fought, many expected Jones to be first in line for a shot at the newly-crowned heavyweight king.
However, a squabble with UFC brass over a bumper payday has threatened to derail what is arguably the biggest title fight in the history of mixed martial arts.
Now, his bitter rival Cormier has waded into the debate, claiming his arch-nemesis should not be paid the same as ‘The Notorious’ for a high stakes shootout with ‘The Predator.’
“Jon Jones deserves his money,” Cormier said to ESPN. “He has done tremendous things in this sport, but is Jon Jones going to have a number so large that it’s unrealistic? That’s the question, because I know that they’re going to pay him.”
“I think he does deserve a large number.
“If Conor McGregor – and I don’t know what Conor makes, but I heard Conor makes like 15 million to show up and then he gets all the pay-per-view.
“If Conor makes 15 million to show up, Jones shouldn’t make what Conor McGregor makes.
“If Conor McGregor makes something in that range, Jones shouldn’t make what Conor McGregor makes.
“It should be a tier beneath that.”
Jones, according to ‘DC’, should earn the same amount as former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“Does Jon Jones make what Khabib makes? If Khabib makes eight to 10 million, yes,” he added. “But I don’t believe he should make what Conor McGregor makes.
“I do believe that Conor McGregor, there should be a difference in the pay scale because of what he has meant to the company.
“But in the eight-to-10 million range? I think that works.
“I believe with 100% certainty they would give him $10 million to show up and fight Francis Ngannou.
“I believe that and that’s him getting his money because he’s never made $10 million before to show.
“He said he makes $5 million, right? So if he makes $5 million, then you’re doubling what he makes to go and fight Francis.
He continued: “We fought on a number of occasions, and every time something happened after.
“What if something happens after? Now you’ve got a vacant heavyweight championship and you pay this guy all this money.
“That’s the problem, and it’s hard for me to say that because of our history.
But it’s like, UFC 214, him and I, he beat me. Take your belt, take your money, go home. But instead, there’s an issue.
“Now what? You’re just gonna put the belt back on Francis.”