The Great Divide: What does the UFC owe Jon Jones in latest dispute?

The Astronomical Divide is a recurring feature here at MMA Combating in which two of our employees debate a subject subject on the earth of MMA – data, a wrestle, a loopy thing any person did, a loopy thing any person didn’t stamp, or some actual jam threatening the very foundation of the sport — and scheme discontinuance a gaze at to determine a resolution. We’d fancy for you to affix in the discussion in the feedback below.

Jon Jones goes but any other 5 rounds with the UFC.

The longtime UFC light heavyweight king and all-time pound-for-pound gargantuan is once extra at his wit’s live with the promotion he’s known as house for over a decade. On Monday, Jones unleashed a passionate and profane Twitter tirade at Dana White and the UFC, which was once a prepare-up to a inequity the two had in accurate time after UFC 260 when White suggested that Jones’ attempts at negotiation were a stamp that is now not going to in truth must face contemporary heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.

Advantageous, you’ve heard this sooner than, as Jones and White stirred up a identical debate closing year over—you guessed it—whether Jones’ calls for for better compensation were factual a smokescreen to steer definite of combating. Jones hasn’t fought since February of closing year and even though it looks he’s finally focused on jumping up in weight, correct now there’s no philosophize that the Ngannou matchup will happen.

Jones is with out doubt among the UFC’s supreme stars, however factual how integral is he to the promotion’s plans? In this model of The Astronomical Divide, MMA Combating’s Jed Meshew and Alexander Okay. Lee debate whether Jones is owed higher than he’s been given or if this most up-to-date drama will once extra live with the role quo intact.


Meshew: I’d philosophize that I am worried we are quiet having this conversation in the year 2021, however I’ve been following MMA for too lengthy to in truth be worried by this. Advantageous, Jon Jones deserves to be paid extra by the UFC. In point of fact, he deserves to be paid SUBSTANTIALLY extra by the UFC. All fighters stamp.

Warring parties income part in the UFC is set 20 p.c. Here is a truth. For reference, which suggests that every $69.99 PPV you scheme discontinuance, about $14 finally ends up going to the fighters, total. Ought to you knew literally nothing else in regards to the anxiousness and private even an oz of empathy on your soul, that must always live this discussion correct here. In the NFL, avid gamers catch about 47% of income. In the NBA, it’s discontinuance to 50%. Warring parties are making—at most attention-grabbing!—half of of what they deserve collectively. Warring parties are the UFC’s product. Without them there literally is now not any enterprise and but they catch pennies on the greenback.

Ought to you don’t care about that, properly, you’re now not by myself. There has never been an absence of followers in any sport who come down on the facet of ownership as an replacement of the avid gamers. “Oh, the depraved millionaire is complaining about now not making sufficient money!” cries the dissatisfied “fan” who’s de facto siding with billionaires as an replacement. Utterly in MMA, “followers” can’t in truth catch this argument because every person knows that 99.99 p.c of fighters are now not millionaires. So as an replacement those proletariat-smashing calls flip into “Smartly, he’s worried.” As if any person that fights of us for a residing is in truth panicked of getting actual into a wrestle. Friggin’ rubes.

It’s here that I will private to expose that the supreme purveyor of this absolute horsesh*t line of argument is UFC President Dana White (shouts to Caposa).

Gripping that the promoter of a company, the fellow who’s literal job it’s to catch you serious about fighters and promote them to the public, so typically trashes a few of his supreme stars. It’s nearly luxuriate in he has a deal in which his pay is a percentage of profits and thus, he for my allotment makes extra money the extra he can depress fighter pay, striking him in a without extend adversarial relationship with the of us he is speculated to advertise. Nah, I bet he’s doing it to support funds down so in flip those savings will also be returned to the followers in the create of cheaper PPVs and tickets. What’s that you philosophize? The cost of PPVs in truth jumped up this year? Huh. Never will private viewed that coming.

Truthfully, I might per chance proceed to catch this argument with out even speaking about Jon Jones in dispute because this fruit hangs so low it’s initiating to grow roots however for the sake of it, let’s focus on Jones individually.

Jones has rather a few birth air-the-cage concerns, there’s no doubt about that. Nonetheless you know what he doesn’t private concerns with? Promoting pay-per-views. Now, to be definite, Jones is now not some Conor McGregor-stage huge title that clocks a million buys even though he’s combating a broomstick, however Jones has never offered now not up to 300,000 and consistently pulls in over half of a million buys. He’s a actual scheme.

Furthermore, we aren’t factual speaking a few random Jones wrestle here. We’re speaking about Jones doing the object followers private wished to investigate cross-check for ages and doing so against the scariest man alive. Here is with out a doubt compelling stuff and when Jones is in a compelling wrestle, his numbers jump up. Jones’ grudge match with Rashad Evans, his two fights with Cormier, and his rematch with Alexander Gustafsson all topped 700,000 buys and that’s almost definitely the absolute flooring for an Ngannou-Jones superfight. We’re speaking seven-figure buys, with out problems, and that must always be price the associated price to the UFC.

Now, the argument against paying Jones extra (now not even paying him equitably mind you, because that is clearly a total non-starter for the UFC at this level) veritably boils all the manner down to “Why will private to the UFC pay extra for Jones after they’ll catch 70% of the return for a ways less with a man luxuriate in Derrick Lewis?” and in primarily the most cynical terms, that’s internal your potential. On the opposite hand, it’s also short-sighted.

Final year, Dana White gushed about how, despite shedding somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million attributable to no dwell gates, 2020 was once a gargantuan year for them as they crushed it in every other category and the brand was once better than ever. What stamp you have confidence is extra healthy for the brand lengthy duration of time, that they FINALLY philosophize on among the dispute superfights followers desire or that we support speaking about this nonsense ad nauseum? I’m gonna stagger forward and philosophize it’s better if every person spends the following three months speaking about how dope this wrestle is as an replacement of how penny-pinching Scrooge McDucks are standing in the manner of a actual thing. Again, this isn’t some paradigm-involving moment for fighter pay. Here is a one-time part for a superfight that literally every person wants. For years, White has stated that the UFC is actual to boxing because they place together the fights the followers desire, and but here we are, with the UFC now not striking together the wrestle the followers desire when it’s fully in their vitality to stamp so.

Sooner or later, every person knows what goes to happen here. Jones will catch exasperated online and Tweet By blueprint of It. White will proceed to throw Jones below the bus factual as now not easy as he maybe can. Ngannou will wrestle Derrick Lewis after which, assuming he wins, the cycle will launch in each place again except finally, doubtlessly in 2022, Jones backs down and we finally stamp catch the wrestle.

And that’s what’s so stressful about all of this. The UFC has the vitality to stamp its job however they is now not going to stamp so except they bend Jones to their will. It’s now not about actual enterprise – actual enterprise is rising the product that primarily the most of us must scheme discontinuance, at a value that helps your persisted operations. Here is set domination, ego, and greed. I’d make a choice to utter that we deserve better, however given the indisputable truth that we’re quiet having this conversation in 2021, I’m now not so definite that’s kindly.


Lee: Spherical among the most up-to-date Jon Jones-Dana White negotiation saga didn’t exactly stagger gargantuan for “Bones” and round two might per chance glance him having to finally throw in the towel.

What stamp I mean by that? I mean Jones fought once in early 2020, then didn’t sniff a reserving for the rest of the year and the UFC did factual elegant. In point of fact, if White’s accounting is to be believed, the UFC did spectacularly properly attributable to their aggressive manner to resuming operations actual via the COVID-19 pandemic. It may per chance maybe per chance just now not had been tidy, it will most likely per chance just now not had been stable, however it was once clearly massively a success for the promotion actual via a time when many other leisure entities were struggling to put afloat.

All of that is to utter that if the UFC can thrive below those circumstances, it’ll with out problems stagger but any other 12 months with out a Jones wrestle. And that sucks.

Ideally, the UFC would give Jones every penny that he’s price, which provided that he’s among the promotion’s extra actual (if now not spectacular) pay-per-behold attracts, is plenty. Nonetheless calling White and the UFC idealists is a comic thought. Running a famous pro sports organization is a subject of pragmatism and White understands that as well to someone. He has consistently been about conserving the UFC brand above all else, even though it’s on the expense of the fighters and yes, typically the followers whether we are aware about it or now not. He is now not about giving his fighters what they deserve and I’d stagger as a ways as to wager that the UFC’s company bible removed any point out of the notice “deserve” a lengthy time in the past with the exception of when referring to how great is owed to shareholders every quarter.

Which is why White is resorting to the identical junior high negotiation tactics which private resulted in him popping out on the winning live of deals for years. While you investigate cross-check at White’s most up-to-date feedback, he hasn’t even explicitly stated that Jones is panicked to wrestle Francis Ngannou, however the implication is as definite as day. He doesn’t must utter it. All he has to stamp is dangle the bait and a legion of UFC sycophants will jump to the promotion’s defense.

Jones has his supporters too, however what number of of them are inclined to desert the UFC fully will private to Jones proceed to live out of action? There’s consistently a contemporary intellectual to safe the eye. With Jones and Conor McGregor absent for most of 2020, contemporary cults fashioned in the title of Kevin Holland, Khamzat Chimaev, and Joaquin Buckley, amongst others. Jorge Masvidal made a Fight Island look, which kept him in the UFC’s desire and now he’s waltzing correct into but any other title shot. McGregor came support this year and is anticipated to wrestle again in the summer. Sean O’Malley is support. The snort retains a rollin’.

There’s a rising probability that Jones is relegated to Diaz role (Nate or Nick, scheme discontinuance your scheme discontinuance). A favored fighter who the UFC is elated to play hardball with except the fighter bites the bullet, accepts pennies on the greenback for his or her next bout agreement, after which disappears support actual into a swirl of coaching videos, backed social media posts, and passive aggressive tweets except it’s time to stamp the dance again. That’s what awaits Jones for the rest of 2021 and maybe great of 2022. Aren’t we having fun?

Here is all terribly cynical, however it’s the price of doing enterprise with the UFC except the fighters and their managers catch sorted and work to catch extra leverage on the negotiating desk. Till that occurs, the UFC sets the parameters and the price and that’s that. Perchance the UFC owes fighters higher than a 20 p.c a part of the income. “Come catch it,” the UFC says time and time again. Legends luxuriate in Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz, and Henry Cejudo private all tackled the anxiousness of fighter pay to varying levels of success, however I philosophize you that none of them were ever in truth paid what they were price by the UFC.

Don’t be taken aback if these public negotiations catch even nastier with White the utilization of Jones’ misbehavior—both internal and exterior of rivals—as evidence that he and his crew private already performed sufficient for the two-time undisputed champion. It’s Jones who has failed extra than one drug tests. It’s Jones who forfeited one of his UFC belts support in 2015 after being allowing for a success-and-high-tail. It’s Jones who added a DWI to his eternal file as recently as March of closing year.

Gorgeous or now not, the UFC can support that against him. More importantly, it’ll subtly counsel that the public support that against him, while White items his promotion because the obliging employers which private kept food on Jones’ desk and kept him in the spotlight despite these infractions. “What’s going to we owe Jon Jones? What about what Jon Jones owes to us?!?”

Again, it sucks to even will private to be announcing this, however it will most likely per chance be worse to faux that Jones is wherever discontinuance to getting what he wants. If he’s chasing an eight-figure payday, it’s going to scheme discontinuance in style reform in the enterprise of MMA to stamp this, now not the occasional tweetstorm. As impassioned and convincing as Jones’ words can be to his followers, it’s the UFC brass that he in truth must persuade of his price and in the intervening time that’s a discussion he can’t safe.


How will this chapter of the Jon Jones-Dana White saga unfold?

  • 15%
    Jones will get the money he’s shopping for

    (113 votes)

  • 46%
    The UFC strikes on with Jones on the bench

    (348 votes)

  • 38%
    Jones finally fights Ngannou, no famous pay change

    (290 votes)

751 votes total Vote Now

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