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'LYING to the fans': Jon Jones accuses Dana White of 'BULLSH*T' over claims UFC champ demanded 'absurd money' for Ngannou fight

'LYING to the fans': Jon Jones accuses Dana White of 'BULLSH*T' over claims UFC champ demanded 'absurd money' for Ngannou fight
UFC light heavyweight king Jon Jones has lashed out at Dana White over an ongoing pay row that has halted hopes of a fight with feared heavyweight Francis Ngannou, with Jones claiming White "lied to the camera."

Jones was infuriated by an interview in which White claimed the outspoken champion "couldn’t be asking for a more absurd amount of money at a worse time" during talks that swiftly sunk last week, when the pound-for-pound number one live-tweeted his dismay during what he claimed was a brief and fruitless negotiation.

Jones insisted that numbers had never been discussed and he had not been offered a pay rise to move up in weight to face Ngannou, later appearing to back down on a threat to take a lengthy break from the octagon while being backed up by his potential opponent, who said the UFC was unwilling to pay "at least what it's worth" for the fight.

“It’s interesting to just sit here and watch your boss lie to the camera like this," a clearly frustrated Jones told fans after learning of White's observations on the discussions.

"We never discussed any increase in pay. Immediately, the conversation was that I already made enough. I never made a number offer. If you’re not going to change my contract for the heavyweight move, at least have the decency to be honest with the fans.

“I was over the situation but I’m not going to sit back and allow Dana to lie to the fans. I never asked for an absurd amount of money. That’s bullsh*t ...absolute bullsh*t."

While Jones has criticized the UFC for failing to "see my value against the scariest heavyweight in the world," White emphasized his admiration for the 32-year-old in glowing terms during the interview.

Asked to name his greatest UFC fighter of all time in light of a list compiled by Conor McGregor, White said there was "no debate" that Jones was top of the pile.

"Look at what the guy has accomplished – and what he was doing while he accomplished those things," White told ESPN, alluding to the numerous disciplinary problems and brushes with the law Jones has encountered during his career, including being stripped of his title in 2015 over felony hit-and-run charges.

"It's not like the guy was being good to himself. And what's even crazier about the Jon Jones story is to imagine what he could have accomplished had he been doing the right thing the whole time."

Echoing his original stream of thoughts over the potential fight with Ngannou, Jones appeared to offer a more considered viewpoint hours after his initial outburst, saying he refused to "give up hope."

"The way I’m taking this whole thing is UFC don’t want to budget the Jon Jones heavyweight move up right now. They should’ve just said that.

"Lying on me and saying I asked for too much is just unfair. That was unnecessary. You already let me down a bit by shutting down this Francis Mega fight – don't add salt to the wound by telling the fans something that’s not the truth.

"I’m not mad at Dana or beefing. I'm just surprised he went that route. I said my piece – I’m over it."

When a fan questioned whether he genuinely felt closure over the fight, Jones admitted that he had been glossing over his true feelings and likened the situation to the canceled UFC 151 in 2012, when he said he "felt like a piece of meat" and White blamed him for refusing to face stand-in opponent Chael Sonnen at short notice.

"No, not really," he retorted when asked if he had put White's latest comments behind him. "Sh*t reminds me of UFC 151 all over again."

Also on rt.com 'Bad business': Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou blame UFC after revealing superfight talks failed within MINUTES over pay