The eye-watering amount Jon Jones would be looking to earn for a showdown with UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has been revealed.
Pound-for-pound ace Jones has been vocal about his relatively low paydays, claiming they don't compare to the vast pay-per-view sums earned by Conor McGregor or boxers such as Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez.
Now Jones' long-time coach Mike Winkeljohn has outlined what the camp believe an Ngannou fight is worth to Jones: $50 million (around £36 million).
Jones has disagreed publicly with Dana White over his value, as the UFC's light-heavyweight king steps up to heavyweight and looks to fight Stipe Miocic's conqueror. (Although Jones did say on Twitter on 2 April that he'd had his best talk in a long time with the UFC president.)
The logic of the 33-year-old is simple: while the likes of boxing star Alvarez has made around $35 million per fight recently, Jones earned just over $500,000 for his last contest. So for an Ngannou megafight, he wants that Mayweather-level, life-changing money.
"I look at the big fights, I think this fight can be easily as [big as] some of the big Mayweather fights out there," said Winkeljohn (via Submission Radio's Denis Shkuratov).
"What did Floyd Mayweather make? A hundred million? You know, that type of thing. [Mayweather] was kind of his own promoter. So, Jon's got to share that with the UFC as far as pay-per-view buys.
"But I don't see why it wouldn't be a $50 million fight. And the UFC still makes bank, and is able to pay off a lot of the debt they have and go forward.
"I think the UFC needs a superstar like Jon Jones. I think Conor [McGregor] was the guy for a while, and he's fallen off. But those big names is what makes the UFC money, ultimately."
You can see the logic in Winkeljohn's thinking: MMA is growing as a global attraction, but the paydays in UFC haven't quite kept pace with those of the biggest stars in boxing.
Mayweather earned an estimated $280 million from his last fight against McGregor, with the Irishman earning a reported $130 million.
So Jones, arguably the UFC's GOAT, stepping up to heavyweight to take on a dangerous puncher like Ngannou with the title on the line should arguably be worth a record-breaking sum.
I just had a great dinner and the best conversation I've had with Dana and a very long time, we got the deal done. Date to be announced soon- BONY (@JonnyBones) April 2, 2021
White would undoubtedly love to put the fight on PPV later this year and Jones certainly didn't pack on all of this muscle mass to then go back down to light-heavyweight.
But it seems there is still a way to go before Bones and the UFC can agree on a payday deal to get him into the Octagon against 'The Predator'.
All imagery: PA Images
- Blockbuster heavyweight fight between Francis Ngannou vs. Jon Jones targeted for UFC 285 in Las Vegas
- 'YOU IDIOTS' - Dana White Explains Why He Didn't Put UFC Title Around Francis Ngannou At UFC 270
- Jon Jones Ruthlessly Taunts Francis Ngannou And Ciryl Gane After 'Boring' UFC 270 Fight
- Francis Ngannou Says UFC Threatened To Sue Agent Over Alleged Boxing Talks With Jake Paul