UFC 'will not wait for Jon Jones' amid '£42m' fight demands as Dana White begins to make Ngannou and Lewis rematch

THE UFC have reportedly moved on from a blockbuster fight between Francis Ngannou and Jon Jones, offering Derrick Lewis a rematch with the newly-crowned heavyweight champion.

The UFC brass are currently embroiled in a bitter pay dispute with Jones, who wants a significant bump for his long-awaited move up to heavyweight.

Jones recently revealed he wants to be paid more than £7.2million ($10m) for a super-fight with the UFC's first African heavyweight champion.

But it appears the promotion isn't willing to meet the former long-reigning light-heavyweight champion's demands as they've offered fan favourite Lewis the next crack at the belt.

ESPN's Ariel Helwani tweeted: "UFC has kicked the tires on Francis Ngannou x Derrick Lewis on June 12, sources say.

"However the timing doesn’t work for Ngannou (and I don’t blame him; he just won the belt).

"Bigger story here, IMO, is, at least for now, they don’t seem keen on waiting around for Jones."

He added: "Since 6/12, at least for now, doesn’t viable, do they revisit Jones? Maybe.


"But Lewis is ready, willing and able. Wouldn’t be surprised if they just try to book that rematch for sometime later in the summer/fall.

"Doesn’t look like they are willing to meet Jones’ price right now."

Jones striking coach, Mike Winkeljohn, reckons the UFC should stump up the cash and make the Ngannou fight, which he reckons would generate at least £42m ($50m)

During an appearance on Submission Radio, he said: "I think this fight can be easily as [big as] some of the big Mayweather fights out there.

"What did Floyd Mayweather make? A hundred million?

"I don’t know. You know, that type of thing. [Mayweather] was kind of his own promoter.

"So, Jon’s gotta share that with the UFC as far as on pay-per-view buys. But I don’t see why it wouldn’t be a $50 million fight.

"And the UFC still makes bank, and is able to pay off a lot of the debt they have and go forward."

Jones, 33, recently called for the UFC to terminate his contract if they don't deem him worthy of his asking price.

He tweeted: "Please just cut me already.

"You would rather have me around and treat me like s***.

"I swear the UFC industry has been nothing but depressing for me. I feel like my wings are being clipped.

"What type of weird s*** is this, obviously the boss hates me. Let me take my business elsewhere."

Despite not having set foot inside the octagon in over a year, future hall-of-famer Jones is determined to stick to his guns.

He said: "Everyone knows fighters don’t make anything close to what they actually bring in when they fight.

"I really don’t see what the big deal is paying your main event for one of the biggest possible fights ever.

"It’s not like I’ll be asking for my actual fair share.

"I just want respectable numbers, so that I don’t feel like a fool entering the biggest fight of my life."

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