UFC heavyweight Curtis Blaydes says the promotion has to pay him more if it wants to book him against pound-for-pound great Jon Jones.
Blaydes returns to the Octagon this weekend when he takes on Derrick Lewis in the main event of UFC Vegas 15, with the winner of this fight closing in on title contention. In Blaydes’ last fight, he won a unanimous decision over Alexander Volkov and was criticized by UFC president Dana White for his cardio and for pre-fight comments where he suggested he deserved a raise. Blaydes, though, doesn’t care what White thinks.
Speaking to TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter before the fight with Lewis, Blaydes explained that a fight with Jones to determine the next title contender at heavyweight only makes sense if he gets a raise. Otherwise, Blaydes says, he’s rather “fight a bum” instead, pointing out he makes the same amount of money to fight regardless of opponent.
Blaydes on whether he wants to face Jon Jones: "We're talking about money. I'm not going to fight Jon Jones for $200,000. That's ridiculous. I think a lot of people forget that we get paid what we get paid regardless of who the opponent is… I can fight a bum to make $200,000" pic.twitter.com/LoTP3vlKjC
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) November 24, 2020
“No, I’m not (fighting Jones). If I win this fight (with Lewis), I want the title shot. I’m not going to be cannon fodder to build up someone else. I’ve already built up myself and I feel like I’ve earned that. I feel like I don’t have to take that fight if I don’t need it. That’s a title fight. I’m not fighting Jon Jones to prove that I deserve a heavyweight title shot, that’s ridiculous,” Blaydes said.
“We’re talking about money. I’m not going to fight Jon Jones for 200k, that’s ridiculous. I think that a lot of people forget that we get paid what we get paid regardless of who the opponent is. So I don’t need to fight Jon Jones to make my 200k. I can fight a bum and make 200k. If I fight Jon Jones, I want that money.”
With a win over Lewis on Saturday night, Blaydes would have no one left to fight in the division except for the champion Stipe Miocic and challenger Francis Ngannou, who will likely meet on March 2021 for the heavyweight title. Should Blaydes defeat Lewis, he may need to wait on the sidelines for a while to fight for the belt, opening up the door to take another fight in the meantime. Just don’t look for that to be Jones without a raise. For Blaydes, this is all a business and he wants to be compensated properly.
Do you think the UFC would book Curtis Blaydes against Jon Jones?