Jon Jones wants more than $10million to challenge new UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.
Ngannou knocked out Stipe Miocic in their rematch last weekend and wants to defend his belt against Jones.
But the former light-heavyweight champion has been at loggerheads with the UFC over a potential move to heavyweight and believes he is being under-valued.
He made his feelings clear in a series of now-deleted tweets following Ngannou’s victory, and has now clarified his demands.
He said: “I had a brief phone meeting with UFC‘s lawyer Hunter a few days ago. As of right now I expressed to him that anywhere around eight to $10 million would be way too low for a fight of this magnitude. That’s all that has been discussed so far.
“I’m supposed to be waiting for what their offer is going to be. Really hoping the numbers are nowhere near that low. I guess we will see what happens.
“One thing I’m sure of, I’ve never had more people excited to see A fight than they are now, I literally can’t walk to my mail box without someone asking me about the fight.
“I’ve been working my ass off for years, concussions, surgeries, fighting the toughest competition UFC had to offer throughout my 20s for right around two million per fight. I’m just trying to have my pay day, the fight that all of us fighters believe is one day possible.
“I tweeted show me the money and that evidently p***** off the boss. What a learning lesson. I feel like if Conor [McGregor] would’ve sent that same tweet there would have been whiskey night.
“I believe I was grossly underpaid throughout my entire 20s. I’m not even here b****ing about that. I just want to see the future done right.
“I feel like this fight is monumental, matchup‘s like this don’t come very often in a lifetime. Me stopping Francis in my first fight up at heavyweight would be nothing short of extraordinary. Ali versus Foreman, hosted by the UFC.”
Ngannou, meanwhile, sympathises with Jones and called on the UFC to pay their star fighter what he feels he deserves.
“I don’t know whats happening between Jon Jones and the UFC but something seems wrong and I think maybe he’s handled it in the wrong way,” he told ESPN.
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“But that’s not my business, there are a lot of contenders ready to fight and there are a lot of fights here.
“For the first time, I’m the man who is making the call, I don’t have to sit down and wait for people; they are waiting for me and I am ready.
“I can choose to fight and I want to fight twice this year. I hope that fight happens, I would love that fight but if not I will move on.
“I am ready to fight in the summer, maybe August, so that I can also fight in December.
“If it was up to me, Jon Jones is a good one. I’ve taken the best heavyweight of all time out so now to take the pound-for-pound No.1 guy out would be good; it would be good for the resume.
“I think he wants a challenge but I think he is also at the stage in his career where he wants a big pay cheque, and I can’t argue with that.
“He is the greatest and the pound-for-pound No.1 guy, you can’y deny anything in this sport to Jon Jones.”