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'The UFC has created Conor McGregor... I think sometimes he forgets that' - Jones

The pound-for-pound #1 fighter doesn’t believe McGregor deserves a slice of the pie if the UFC is sold.

UFC interim light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
UFC interim light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
Image: John Locher

JON JONES HAS laughed off the prospect of Conor McGregor getting his hands on part of the proceeds should a long-rumoured sale of the UFC go through.

MMA’s leading organisation has been the subject of talk of a $4.2billion sale in recent weeks, although UFC officials have repeatedly poured cold water on those reports.

Since joining the UFC in 2013, McGregor has certainly made a significant contribution to the value of the organisation, as the Dubliner rapidly became one of its biggest assets.

The 27-year-old has moved the needle when it comes to pay-per-view buys and gate receipts. Last month, Forbes rated him as one of the world’s 100 highest-paid athletes — a first for an MMA fighter — having earned $22million in the last year.

In an interview last weekend with the Sunday Business Post, John Kavanagh — McGregor’s head coach at SBG in Dublin — suggested that the featherweight champion may ask for equity if the UFC is sold: ”Conor will have thought of this and I am sure, when he is sitting down with his new overlords, he will have that conversation.”

But Jon Jones, who takes on Daniel Cormier in a light-heavyweight title unification bout next weekend at UFC 200 in Las Vegas, believes McGregor is getting ahead of himself if he believes he’s worthy of a slice of the pie.

Speaking to Jay & Dan on FOX Sports, Jones praised McGregor for the knock-on effect that he has had in helping his peers in MMA to earn more from the sport, but he didn’t agree when asked if McGregor should be taken into account in a change of ownership.

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“No. No, I don’t [agree with that],” said Jones, the UFC’s interim 205lbs champion and top-ranked pound-for-pound fighter. “The UFC has created Conor McGregor… I think sometimes he forgets that.

“But he is a magnificent talent and we’re all glad to have him a part of the sport. He’s bringing a lot of attention and so much more recognition. At the end of the day, when he wins, we all win. So, I’m grateful for him.”

Jones’ bout with Cormier fills the headline slot at UFC 200 which McGregor and Nate Diaz vacated as a result of the Irish star’s refusal to fulfil certain media obligations. The McGregor-Diaz rematch was later rescheduled for UFC 202 on 20 August. Diaz submitted McGregor in the second round of their UFC 196 bout back in March.

Earlier this week, Jon Jones told the media in Los Angeles that one of the factors behind McGregor’s slip-up against Diaz was over-confidence that stemmed from his own hype.

Jones said: ”Conor McGregor was saying these things about being the baddest dude and, ‘I’ll beat anybody in any weight class’. That’s foolish stuff. When you believe the hype to that level, then you’re in danger.”

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About the author:

Paul Dollery

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