Dana White is no closer to securing a deal for Jon Jones to return to the Octagon.

The former light-heavyweight champion has been sitting out for more than a year as he tries to negotiate a new deal ahead of his heavyweight debut.

MMA fans are excited by the prospect of Jones facing Francis Ngannou for the heavyweight title but that fight doesn’t appear to be on the cards for 2021.

During a recent appearance on The Bill Simmons Podcast, White once again suggested Derrick Lewis is next in line for the new heavyweight champion.

“Every Saturday night I put on fights and whoever wants to fight, we’ll make it and we’ll put them in there,” White said. “We tried to work with Jon and you know, we eventually have to move on because realistically, and in all honesty, Derek Lewis is the guy who deserves the fight.

“Derrick Lewis is a heavyweight who beat Francis Ngannou. He’s looked good in his last couple of fights. He’s ranked in the top three I think and he deserves the fight. So, that’s the fight that should happen. We’ll just roll and do what we do. When Jon’s ready he’ll let us know.

White revealed he is willing to negotiate with Jones as he wants his fighters to be happy but he understands that isn’t always possible.

“You can’t make everybody happy, but you want to make them as happy as you possibly can. So, you know, we’ll try to figure something out. If we can, we, will and we’ll get the deal done. If we can’t, we won’t and it’s up to him, whether he wants to fight again.”

The UFC boss went on to say Jones wants $30 million for a fight with Ngannou and that’s something White is not willing to guarantee.  

“In this deal, he’s talking he wants $30 million guaranteed,” White claimed.

“The way this works is, you know, these guys all share on the pay-per-view. You’ve just said yourself; you think this is going to be a big fight. I agree with you and think it’s going to be a big fight,” White continued. “Well, he will share in the profits of the fight. That’s how it works. That’s how you run a business and you don’t go broke.”

How much do you think Dana White should guarantee Jon Jones for a heavyweight title fight with Francis Ngannou?

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A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.