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28th Feb 2019

Conor McGregor taught Jon Jones a lesson

Jon Jones defends his light heavyweight title against Anthony Smith this weekend

Darragh Murphy

Now more than ever, fighters are becoming aware of their value.

We’ve seen many fighters in recent years test free agency, hold tough for better fight offers and just simply refuse to compete for less than they feel they’re worth.

It’s obviously easier for the higher-profile members of the UFC roster to use their pull within the organisation than it is for newcomers on $10,000/$10,000 deals but at least now, everyone is aware of what’s possible.

Love him or hate him, Conor McGregor must be credited with the bigger paydays that are being handed out nowadays and his popularity undoubtedly played a significant role in WME-IMG’s $4 billion acquisition of the UFC in 2016.

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones certainly believes that ‘The Notorious’ has changed things for fighters by showing them how to maximise their earning power.

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“I really don’t have any problems making light heavyweight. Everyone keeps trying to force me into the heavyweight division as if it has to happen,” Jones said at a media day ahead of his title defence at UFC 235.

“I think the UFC is really good at making things happen that the fans want and I think what they need to do is say, ‘Hey Bones, we’ve got some cha-ching for you.’

“Conor McGregor has taught me a lesson. If they want to see it badly enough, they’ve got the money.

“Financially, I’m doing alright. It’s just that Conor really introduced what talking can do and what asking can do.

“Oftentimes I don’t think the fighters realise that without the fighters, there’s not much of an organisation and I just feel like you should know your worth and if somebody wants you to step outside of your comfort zone to do something then they should make it comfortable for you. They should make it worth your while.”