The Nice Divide: What does the UFC owe Jon Jones in newest dispute?
The Astronomical Divide is a recurring function right here at MMA Combating through which two of our staff debate a topic topic on the earth of MMA – information, a wrestle, a crazy factor any particular person did, a crazy factor any particular person didn’t stamp, or some precise jam threatening the very basis of the game — and scheme discontinuance a stare upon to find out a decision. We’d fancy so that you can affix within the dialogue within the suggestions beneath.
Jon Jones goes however every other 5 rounds with the UFC.
The longtime UFC mild heavyweight king and all-time pound-for-pound gargantuan is as soon as further at his wit’s dwell with the promotion he’s often called home for over a decade. On Monday, Jones unleashed a passionate and profane Twitter tirade at Dana White and the UFC, which was as soon as a prepare-up to a inequity the 2 had in correct time after UFC 260 when White prompt that Jones’ makes an attempt at negotiation have been a stamp that’s no longer going to in fact should face modern heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.
Advantageous, you’ve heard this earlier than, as Jones and White stirred up a similar debate closing yr over—you guessed it—whether or not Jones’ requires for higher compensation have been factual a smokescreen to steer particular of combating. Jones hasn’t fought since February of closing yr and despite the fact that it seems he’s lastly targeted on leaping up in weight, appropriate now there’s no philosophize that the Ngannou matchup will occur.
Jones is with out doubt among the many UFC’s supreme stars, nonetheless factual how integral is he to the promotion’s plans? On this mannequin of The Astronomical Divide, MMA Combating’s Jed Meshew and Alexander Okay. Lee debate whether or not Jones is owed increased than he’s been given or if this most modern drama will as soon as further dwell with the function quo intact.
PAY THAT MAN HIS MONEY!
Meshew: I would philosophize that I’m apprehensive we’re quiet having this dialog within the yr 2021, nonetheless I’ve been following MMA for too prolonged to in fact be apprehensive by this. Advantageous, Jon Jones deserves to be paid further by the UFC. Really, he deserves to be paid SUBSTANTIALLY further by the UFC. All fighters stamp.
Opponents revenue half within the UFC is about 20 p.c. Here’s a fact. For reference, which suggests that each $69.99 PPV you scheme discontinuance, about $14 ends up going to the fighters, whole. Must you knew actually nothing else regarding the anxiousness and personal even an oz of empathy in your soul, that should at all times dwell this dialogue appropriate right here. Within the NFL, avid avid gamers catch about 47% of revenue. Within the NBA, it’s discontinuance to 50%. Opponents are making—at most attention-grabbing!—half of of what they deserve collectively. Opponents are the UFC’s product. With out them there actually is no longer any enterprise and however they catch pennies on the buck.
Must you don’t care about that, correctly, you’re no longer on my own. There has by no means been an absence of followers in any sport who come down on the side of possession as an substitute of the avid avid gamers. “Oh, the wicked millionaire is complaining about no longer making adequate cash!” cries the dissatisfied “fan” who’s de facto siding with billionaires as an substitute. Totally in MMA, “followers” can’t in fact catch this argument as a result of each particular person is aware of that 99.99 p.c of fighters at the moment are not millionaires. In order an substitute these proletariat-smashing calls flip into “Well, he’s apprehensive.” As if any individual that fights of us for a residing is in fact panicked of getting precise right into a wrestle. Friggin’ rubes.
It’s right here that I’ll non-public to show 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 an organization, the man who’s literal job it is to catch you critical about fighters and promote them to the general public, so sometimes trashes a couple of of his supreme stars. It’s almost luxuriate in he has a deal through which his pay is a proportion of income and thus, he for my allotment makes extra cash the additional he can depress fighter pay, putting him in a with out lengthen adversarial relationship with the of us he’s purported to promote. Nah, I guess he’s doing it to help funds down so in flip these financial savings may also be returned to the followers within the create of cheaper PPVs and tickets. What’s that you just philosophize? The price of PPVs in fact jumped up this yr? Huh. By no means will non-public seen that coming.
In truth, I’d per probability proceed to catch this argument with out even talking about Jon Jones in dispute as a result of this fruit hangs so low it’s initiating to develop roots nonetheless for the sake of it, let’s deal with Jones individually.
Jones has slightly a couple of beginning air-the-cage issues, there’s little question about that. Nonetheless what he doesn’t non-public issues with? Selling pay-per-views. Now, to be particular, Jones is no longer some Conor McGregor-stage enormous title that clocks one million buys despite the fact that he’s combating a broomstick, nonetheless Jones has by no means supplied now lower than 300,000 and persistently pulls in over half of one million buys. He’s a precise scheme.
Moreover, we aren’t factual talking a couple of random Jones wrestle right here. We’re talking about Jones doing the article followers non-public wished to analyze cross-check for ages and doing so in opposition to the scariest man alive. Right here is with out a doubt compelling stuff and when Jones is in a compelling wrestle, his numbers leap 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 is virtually undoubtedly absolutely the flooring for an Ngannou-Jones superfight. We’re talking seven-figure buys, with out issues, and that should at all times be value the related value to the UFC.
Now, the argument in opposition to paying Jones further (no longer even paying him equitably thoughts you, as a result of that’s clearly a complete non-starter for the UFC at this stage) usually boils all the way all the way down to “Why will non-public to the UFC pay further for Jones after they’re going to catch 70% of the return for a methods much less with a person luxuriate in Derrick Lewis?” and in primarily probably the most cynical phrases, that’s inner your potential. On the other hand, it’s additionally short-sighted.
Closing yr, Dana White gushed about how, regardless of shedding someplace within the neighborhood of $100 million attributable to no dwell gates, 2020 was as soon as a gargantuan yr for them as they crushed it in each different class and the model was as soon as higher than ever. What stamp you have got confidence is further wholesome for the model prolonged period of time, that they FINALLY philosophize on among the many dispute superfights followers need or that we help talking about this nonsense advert nauseum? I’m gonna stagger ahead and philosophize it’s higher if each particular person spends the next three months talking about how dope this wrestle is as an substitute of how penny-pinching Scrooge McDucks are standing within the method of a precise factor. Once more, this isn’t some paradigm-involving second for fighter pay. Here’s a one-time half for a superfight that actually each particular person needs. For years, White has acknowledged that the UFC is precise to boxing as a result of they place collectively the fights the followers need, and however right here we’re, with the UFC no longer putting collectively the wrestle the followers need when it is absolutely of their vitality to stamp so.
Ultimately, each particular person is aware of what goes to occur right here. Jones will catch exasperated on-line and Tweet By blueprint of It. White will proceed to throw Jones beneath the bus factual as no longer straightforward as he possibly can. Ngannou will wrestle Derrick Lewis after which, assuming he wins, the cycle will launch in every place once more besides lastly, doubtlessly in 2022, Jones backs down and we lastly stamp catch the wrestle.
And that is what’s so traumatic about all of this. The UFC has the vitality to stamp its job nonetheless they is no longer going to stamp so besides they bend Jones to their will. It’s no longer about precise enterprise – precise enterprise is rising the product that primarily probably the most of us should scheme discontinuance, at a price that helps your endured operations. Right here is about domination, ego, and greed. I’d make a option to utter that we deserve higher, nonetheless given the indeniable fact that we’re quiet having this dialog in 2021, I’m no longer so particular that’s kindly.
THE MACHINE ROLLS ON
Lee: Spherical among the many most modern Jon Jones-Dana White negotiation saga didn’t precisely stagger gargantuan for “Bones” and spherical two would possibly per probability look him having to lastly throw within the towel.
What stamp I imply by that? I imply Jones fought as soon as in early 2020, then didn’t sniff a reserving for the remainder of the yr and the UFC did factual elegant. Really, if White’s accounting is to be believed, the UFC did spectacularly correctly attributable to their aggressive method to resuming operations precise by way of the COVID-19 pandemic. It could per probability possibly per probability simply no longer had been tidy, it is going to more than likely per probability simply no longer had been steady, nonetheless it was as soon as clearly massively successful for the promotion precise by way of a time when many different leisure entities have been struggling to place afloat.
All of that’s to utter that if the UFC can thrive beneath these circumstances, it’s going to with out issues stagger however every other 12 months with out a Jones wrestle. And that sucks.
Ideally, the UFC would give Jones each penny that he’s value, which offered that he’s among the many promotion’s further precise (if no longer spectacular) pay-per-behold attracts, is lots. Nonetheless calling White and the UFC idealists is a comic book thought. Working a well-known professional sports activities group is a topic of pragmatism and White understands that as properly to somebody. He has persistently been about conserving the UFC model above all else, despite the fact that it’s on the expense of the fighters and sure, sometimes the followers whether or not we’re aware of it or no longer. He’s no longer about giving his fighters what they deserve and I’d stagger as a methods as to wager that the UFC’s firm bible eliminated any level out of the discover “deserve” a prolonged time up to now aside from when referring to how nice is owed to shareholders each quarter.
Which is why White is resorting to the similar junior excessive negotiation techniques which non-public resulted in him coming out on the profitable dwell of offers for years. When you examine cross-check at White’s most modern suggestions, he hasn’t even explicitly acknowledged that Jones is panicked to wrestle Francis Ngannou, nonetheless the implication is as particular as day. He doesn’t should utter it. All he has to stamp is dangle the bait and a legion of UFC sycophants will leap to the promotion’s protection.
Jones has his supporters too, nonetheless what variety of of them are inclined to abandon the UFC absolutely will non-public to Jones proceed to dwell out of motion? There’s persistently a recent mental to protected the attention. With Jones and Conor McGregor absent for many of 2020, modern cults common within the title of Kevin Holland, Khamzat Chimaev, and Joaquin Buckley, amongst others. Jorge Masvidal made a Battle Island look, which stored him within the UFC’s need and now he’s waltzing appropriate into however every other title shot. McGregor got here help this yr and is anticipated to wrestle once more in the summertime. Sean O’Malley is help. The snort retains a rollin’.
There’s a rising likelihood that Jones is relegated to Diaz function (Nate or Nick, scheme discontinuance your scheme discontinuance). A well-liked fighter who the UFC is elated to play hardball with besides the fighter bites the bullet, accepts pennies on the buck for his or her subsequent bout settlement, after which disappears help precise right into a swirl of teaching movies, backed social media posts, and passive aggressive tweets besides it’s time to stamp the dance once more. That’s what awaits Jones for the remainder of 2021 and possibly nice of 2022. Aren’t we having enjoyable?
Right here is all terribly cynical, nonetheless it is the value of doing enterprise with the UFC besides the fighters and their managers catch sorted and work to catch further leverage on the negotiating desk. Until that happens, the UFC units the parameters and the value and that’s that. Perchance the UFC owes fighters increased than a 20 p.c part of the revenue. “Come catch it,” the UFC says time and time once more. Legends luxuriate in Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz, and Henry Cejudo non-public all tackled the anxiousness of fighter pay to various ranges of success, nonetheless I philosophize you that none of them have been ever in fact paid what they have been value by the UFC.
Don’t be stunned if these public negotiations catch even nastier with White the utilization of Jones’ misbehavior—each inner and exterior of rivals—as proof that he and his crew non-public already carried out adequate for the two-time undisputed champion. It’s Jones who has failed further than one drug exams. It’s Jones who forfeited certainly one of his UFC belts help in 2015 after being permitting for a success-and-high-tail. It’s Jones who added a DWI to his everlasting file as lately as March of closing yr.
Beautiful or no longer, the UFC can help that in opposition to him. Extra importantly, it’s going to subtly counsel that the general public help that in opposition to him, whereas White gadgets his promotion as a result of the obliging employers which non-public stored meals on Jones’ desk and stored him within the highlight regardless of these infractions. “What is going on to we owe Jon Jones? What about what Jon Jones owes to us?!?”
Once more, it sucks to even will non-public to be asserting this, nonetheless it is going to more than likely per probability be worse to fake that Jones is wherever discontinuance to getting what he needs. If he’s chasing an eight-figure payday, it’s going to scheme discontinuance in model reform within the enterprise of MMA to stamp this, no longer the occasional tweetstorm. As impassioned and convincing as Jones’ phrases may be to his followers, it’s the UFC brass that he in fact should persuade of his value and in the mean time that’s a dialogue he can’t protected.
How will this chapter of the Jon Jones-Dana White saga unfold?
Jones will get the cash he’s searching for
The UFC strikes on with Jones on the bench
Jones lastly fights Ngannou, no well-known pay change