Jon Jones is seeking a big payday and it appears a showdown with 53-year-old former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson might be the best way to cash a sizeable check right now.
During a live chat earlier this week, Tyson talked about the ongoing issues with fighter pay in the UFC where top athletes earn far below their counterparts in boxing. Tyson argued that Jones as arguably the greatest of all time would have to face someone like him to take home a truly massive paycheck.
“A UFC [fighter] will never be richer than a first class [boxer],” Tyson said. “To make a hundred million dollars, Conor [McGregor] had to fight Floyd [Mayweather]!
“Even if he fights Jon Jones, he’s not going to get that. Jon Jones gotta fight me if he wants to make some super money.”
Now Tyson’s comment may have been in jest but he has been teasing a return to action after training videos have shown the former great getting back into prime shape.
There has even been a buzz about Tyson possibly signing up to face Evander Holyfield again following his own announcement that a return to the ring was possible.
While a fight against Jones seems highly unlikely, the UFC’s light heavyweight champion seized the moment to tag Tyson in a social media post as he made the offer to crossover to boxing as long as the former heavyweight great would then meet him in the octagon.
“Mike Tyson — I’ll box you in the ring if you promise to give me a real fight in the octagon afterwards,” Jones wrote on Instagram. “And because I respect you so much, I promise I won’t break anything on you.”
Jones is currently involved in a contract dispute with the UFC after he expressed interest in moving up to heavyweight to face Francis Ngannou in his next fight. He then took a shot at the UFC after negotiations were almost immediately shut down when Jones claimed that the promotion wouldn’t even entertain paying him a higher fee for the fight.
UFC president Dana White then responded by saying Jones was asking for money comparable to boxer Deontay Wilder, who reportedly earned around $30 million for his most recent fight against Tyson Fury.
Jones then declared that he was ready to surrender his UFC title and walk away from the sport rather than being disrespected any further.
There is still no word on when — or if — Jones will fight again but the prospect of facing Tyson for a hefty payday definitely seems to appeal to him.