Luke Rockhold thinks Jon Jones should be paid over 20 million to fight UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.
Luke Rockhold was on a mission to win the light heavyweight title from Jon Jones back in 2019. Back then, the former UFC middleweight champion said quite a lot of things to belittle Jones’ accomplishments and promote a possible collision.
However, the duo’s career dynamics have changed over the last two years. Maybe that’s why Luke Rockhold has shared his honest opinion of Jon Jones amid the latter’s ongoing tussle with the UFC.
In a recent interview with Helen Yee, Luke Rockhold stated that Jon Jones should be paid a much larger amount to fight the newly crowned heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.
The 35-year-old said that boxing champions generally earn in the $20 million range for each one of their fights. He added that Jones deserves to be paid equally, if not more, especially considering that he has already done enough to earn GOAT status in MMA.
Luke Rockhold said:
“Considering the UFC is the most popular sport in the world, versus what these guys in boxing are fighting bums for 20 million-plus. Where is that money going? Why is boxing able to pay so much with such little traction in audience? “
The UFC, obviously they’re absorbing a lot of money, they’re not paying the fighters what they deserve. I think if anybody deserves it, Jon Jones deserves it. Pay the man. Especially with a fight like that. That’s a big f***ing fight. Pay the man and everybody gets their money’s worth, including the UFC.”
Jon Jones is at odds with the UFC over fighter pay
Jon Jones’ decision to move up in weight to challenge the heavyweight champion was supposed to be an important event in UFC history. If everything had gone as per the original plan, Francis Ngannou would have fought Jon Jones for the first defense of his title in the summer of 2021.
However, Jon Jones demanded higher pay to fight Francis Ngannou even before the latter left the venue after winning the title at UFC 260 in March. Jones’ demand for higher pay was met with a negative response from UFC president Dana White. The former light heavyweight champion has waged a social media war against the UFC ever since.
The UFC has moved on from the Jon Jones vs Francis Ngannou idea, and the champ is almost certainly set to defend his title against No.2 ranked Derrick Lewis later this year.
Neither Jones nor the UFC has shown any signs of backing from their stance, raising serious questions about the former’ fighting future.