Former two-division UFC champion Daniel Cormier understands why Jon Jones is demanding more money for a fight with Francis Ngannou.
Cormier feels that Jones recognizes his value to the UFC, and suspects that, if the light heavyweight champ plays his cards right, he could wind up getting the kind of hefty payday he wants for the Ngannou fight.
“I won the belt in 2015,” Cormier told ESPN on Monday, drawing on his own experience with contract negotiations (transcript via MMA Fighting). “I got me a good contract and I told Dana and Lorenzo, ‘I don’t plan on losing the belt but if I do, at least make my pay 300 grand. Remember when former champions used to make $300,000 and it was a pretty good contract? That’s my contract today! $300,000 as the challenger, because luckily for me, I never lost that belt, so I had the same contract making all that money from 2015 to 2019.
“So when it’s time for me to go and negotiate my fight purse for Stipe Miocic, you think today I want to make $300,000 to fight? No. Do you think I’m gonna make $300,000 to fight? No,” Cormier continued. “I’m gonna talk to them and we’ve had beginning conversations, and they’re going to take care of you, it’s just a matter of how you approach the conversation. . .
“I am almost 100 percent certain that the UFC would pay a $7-8 million base for [Jones] to go fight Francis, and if he’s such a big star and it’s going to do so well, then maybe the pay-per-view will get you to the number that you want it to be,” Cormier continued. “If it has as much intrigue as people are saying it does. And then that’s on the fans. It’s on the fans who are supporting you in this fight to go out and purchase the fight and when they do, now you make all the money that you need. That’s how I feel.”
Cormier, who once shared one of the most heated rivalries in UFC history with Jones, went on to commend the reigning light heavyweight champ for recognizing his value.
“I don’t think he’s wrong,” Cormier concluded. “The guy really understands his value and he’s going to stick to his guns, good for you.”
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