During Jon Jones’s recent impasse with the UFC — “recent” being the last twelve months — we have heard on multiple occasions how Jones is asking for Deontay Wilder money in order to fight Francis Ngannou, who is now the newly crowned heavyweight champion.
“I’ll quote him and what he had said to my lawyer. He told my lawyer he wants what Deontay Wilder was paid,” UFC President Dana White told members of the media last May, an amount that he also described as “an obscene amount of money.” And what was Wilder paid? “I think it was $30 million,” said White, referring to the purse he was supposedly guaranteed for his rematch with Tyson Fury.
White never elaborated as to why he thought this was an obscene amount to pay Jones.
Jones later tweeted out that he was currently making $5+ million per fight for the UFC.
It’s worth noting that very few have said the same thing in regards to Wilder having earned that much. The thought that $30 million is obscene seems based more on which combat sport is being discussed, than the amount itself.
Both types of prizefighting are sold almost exactly the same way: as an event showcasing a fight between two combatants, and sold to the public via live event tickets, pay-per-view or broadcast television. But in boxing, it is an accepted practice for the athletes to earn 10s of millions of dollars (or more), while in MMA, that is viewed as an oddity.
The simplest explanation as to why this is the case is that there is no “UFC” in boxing. There is nothing even remotely comparable.