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Dana White: Jon Jones ‘won’t tell you’ how much he’s paid because it changes the narrative

For the umpteenth time, Dana White addresses the salary issues raised by his fighters.

Fighter pay is an issue that seems to constantly crop up for many years now. Over the past month alone, it’s been a hot topic involving two of the UFC’s marquee fighters: Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal.

Dana White acknowledges this long-standing concern, and it’s something he’s began to live with. In a recent appearance on ESPN’s First Take, the UFC president gave his rationale on how fighter pay works in the company.

“That’s nothing new,” White said to Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman about fighter pay gripes. “That’s been going on for 20 years. Guys are always gonna complain about money. Everybody feels they’re not being paid enough. And if you ask these guys, they’ll tell you they’re the biggest star in the UFC.

“Well, I can tell you this: the guys who really are the biggest stars in the UFC and the guys that bring in the money are the guys that are being paid.

“Some of the guys here (know) what a Conor McGregor or a Khabib is making, and they feel they should be making that kind of money, too. Which isn’t the case.”

With regards to Jones, White admitted that the man he declared to be the “GOAT” isn’t getting paid the same as Khabib or McGregor.

“I’ve made it very clear. Ask Jon Jones what he’s made. Ask Jon Jones how much he’s getting paid. See what he tells you,” White said. “And he won’t tell you what he’s getting paid because I think the narrative changes a lot when you find out what Jon Jones makes. But Jon Jones feels he’s underpaid.

“I’ve said it many times, I think Jon Jones is the GOAT,” he added. “I think he’s the greatest in the sport within the last however many years, and he just doesn’t make the money that a Conor and a Khabib make. And he doesn’t like that.”

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For what it’s worth, we know the absolute maximum possible value Jones made for majority of his career. Even if we don’t consider that the actual figure is several millions less, it still isn’t very impressive pay for a professional athlete that White himself calls the sport’s greatest of all time. Jones also claimed that he just recently started earning “5+” million a fight.

Jones has yet to iron things out with the UFC. Masvidal, on the other hand, was able to work out a new deal with the company, and he’s “extremely happy” about it.