Dana White stated that Derrick Lewis would be the next challenger for the 265-lbs title when Jon Jones demanded higher pay to fight champion Francis Ngannou. The relationship between Jones and the UFC went south right after Ngannou's coronation as heavyweight champion.
While throwing Lewis's name in the mix was probably a tactic to gain leverage over Jones, the Black Beast appears to be closing in on the title fight. Derrick Lewis has revealed he is in talks with the UFC about the fight and gave an update on the ongoing negotiations.
While speaking to ESPN in a recent interview, Derrick Lewis said that the UFC approached him in light of recent back-and-forth between the UFC and Jon Jones. The idea of it being UFC's plan B does not demoralize the Black Beast, who said he is waiting for the organization to respond to his proposal.
"It's fine. I don't care. It doesn't matter if I was C. I am happy that they (The UFC) finally came to me. We might get the deal done, might not. We'll see. So I told them my numbers. So we're just waiting for the response back," said Derrick Lewis.
Derrick Lewis did not disclose the amount pitched by his team. However, he joked that he would fight Ngannou for a $200000 purse with the same amount as the win bonus.
The bout has not yet been finalized. However, Francis Ngannou vs Derrick Lewis 2 is the only fight that makes sense if Jon Jones falls out of the heavyweight title picture. Lewis is currently ranked No. 2 in the heavyweight rankings and is the last man to hand the champ a loss.
When Derrick Lewis agreed to fight Francis Ngannou for 8 million!
Jon Jones has created a formidable legacy as the UFC's longest-reigning champion. However, it will not be an easy ride when he fights reigning heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.
The prospect of losing and hurting the legacy has prompted Jon Jones to demand a higher pay to face Ngannou. While attacking the UFC in a Twitter row, Jon Jones stated that an eight to ten million payday was too little for him to fight Francis Ngannou.
Derrick Lewis, who is known for his comical persona, picked the numbers thrown by Jon Jones and posted a tweet stating he was willing to fight Francis Ngannou for an eight million payday.
The tweet was nothing more than a friendly nudge to Jon Jones. The UFC's pay structure revolves around the pay-per-view numbers generated by individual fighters. Derrick Lewis is not a PPV star yet and cannot squeeze that kind of amount from his employer.