Jon Jones may have dethroned Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 to recapture the UFC light-heavyweight title in Anaheim, but one of the biggest stories coming out of the weekend was the unlikely potential matchup between Jones and WWE superstar – and former UFC heavyweight champion – Brock Lesnar.
Both men stated their interest in the matchup this past week, but is Lesnar’s apparent keenness in a bout with Jones genuine, or is he simply using the UFC star’s return to prominence as leverage to secure an improved deal with WWE?
When asked whether Lesnar’s interest was genuine or an attempt to use Jones and the UFC as leverage, he explained: “I think it’s both.
“But here’s the deal. Brock Lesnar’s never had the shot. I mean, Brock Lesnar made a lot of money in the UFC, but this is a different level.
“This will be more money in one night than Brock Lesnar’s ever made in his life, by far.
“And Brock knows it, he’s surrounded by smart people.
“So I think that that from a Brock Lesnar standpoint – win, lose or draw – he’s about money. And he’s 40 and these big paydays aren’t gonna come forever and he’s never gonna have one this big. So I think this is serious as hell.”
Lesnar is one of the biggest earners in the WWE, but Meltzer explained that a fight with Jones would likely eclipse any earnings ‘The Beast’ has accrued as a pro wrestler.
“Let’s say he can make $6million in WWE,” he said.
“If he does two million [pay-per-view] buys on this thing, jeez, that could be $15million, $10million for one night. I think that he’s gonna go for that, for sure.”
Talk of the fight started when Jones was asked by a fan during a UFC 214 Facebook Live chat whether he’d fancy a scrap with the WWE superstar.
Jones replied, saying: “He’s a massive dude, it would be a massive draw, really big for the sport. It would be a great challenge. That’s a big old boy.
“I doubt Brock Lesnar would take that fight, though.”
But Lesnar begged to differ, telling the Associated Press: “Would I fight Jon Jones? Anytime, anywhere.”
That captured the imagination of the media and the fanbase during UFC 214 fight weekend, with Jones’ final comments in the octagon after his knockout win over Cormier directed at the WWE superstar.
“Brock Lesnar. If you want to know what it feels like to get your a** kicked by somebody who weighs 40lbs less than you, meet me in the octagon!”
— UFC (@ufc) July 30, 2017
Once again, Lesnar replied via the Associated Press, saying simply: “Be careful what you wish for, young man.”
It now seems as if Jones v Lesnar could be a serious option for the UFC, with Lesnar thought to be ready to re-enter the USADA anti-doping testing pool. Once he’s negotiated six clean months in the pool, he’ll be cleared to compete in the octagon again.
Meltzer says given the likely level of interest in the bout, there will be simply too much money involved for the fight not to take place.
“It’s like Mayweather-McGregor,” he explained.
“As soon as I heard them talk about Mayweather-McGregor and the amount of money that was at stake, I knew the fight was going to happen.
“And the Lesnar and Jones thing, there’s too much money [at stake]. Jones knows it. Brock knows it, too.
“Brock Lesnar’s going to be involved in a giant fight, there’s going to be a lot of money, and if Vince [McMahon, WWE CEO] can get a percentage…
“And Brock’s going to be a big pro wrestling star – win, lose or draw – out of that fight.
“From a win-loss standpoint no, it doesn’t make sense. But from a money standpoint, for everyone involved, there’s so much money that why would you stand in the way of it?”