Jon Jones’ failed drug test almost cost original UFC 200 opponent Daniel Cormier to the tune of seven figures.
The subsequent removal of Jones from the main event of the promotion’s flagship UFC 200 pay-per-view seemingly left light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier high and dry just 72 hours out from what was to be the biggest fight of his life.
Luckily for all concerned, Anderson Silva stepped up to the mark merely a day before the weigh-in for the actual fight. UFC president Dana White then reassured fans that Cormier’s fight pay would remain intact despite the late change.
According to former title challenger and now ESPN analyst Chael Sonnen, that amount would have dwarfed anything the 37-year-old has earned in any of his prior fights.
Speaking just after Jon Jones’ press conference and just before Dana White’s confirmation that ‘DC’ was back on the card, Sonnen revealed just how costly the shock news could have been.
He began by pointing out that had Cormier not fought on the card as a result of the failed test, he would have been left empty handed in regard to being paid at all.
“If you’re making 40/60,000, Dana bites the bullet and signs you a cheque.” said Sonnen.
“When you’re talking Daniel Cormier, he was staring at a floor of $2.8 million and a ceiling of $3.2m based on the projections. No, you don’t write anybody a cheque for $3m.”
White promised no change in DC’s pay, but if the figure is based on projection of pay-per-view buys as Sonnen asserts, it will be interesting to see how the late card changes affect the total buy-rate. Cormier’s disclosed payout won’t come close to $3m (indeed, Conor McGregor’s came to just $1m), as the PPV rate determines the rest of the total earnings.
Either way, the decorated wrestler will earn his richly deserved day in the sun.
Video via MMA Latest.