Dana White delivered a trademark Dana White moment in the post-fight press conference for UFC 265 . After reading out the performance of the night recipients, John Morgan of MMA Junkie wondered why Ciryl Gane didn’t get a bonus of US$50,000 for his impressive victory over Derrick Lewis for the interim heavyweight title in Houston, Texas. “That’s true,” said White, who then turned to UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby. “That was Sean. Yeah Ciryl, f*** it he gets $50,000 too, there you go. Good job John Morgan.” White’s focus on the heavyweight division is now crystal clear: a showdown between the two Frenchmen, Gane and champion Francis Ngannou, is the talk of the town, and any other narrative will have to take a back seat until this unification sorts itself out. The two create a compelling storyline, both coached by Fernand Lopez at one point, Gane still with him while Ngannou left for Las Vegas and Eric Nicksick of Xtreme Couture after losing to Stipe Miocic in January 2018 at UFC 220. Of course, White put it best: “Vince McMahon couldn’t have scripted Francis Ngannou vs Ciryl Gane better.” These are two massive dudes who will surely put on a fight for the ages, and could create a trilogy bout down the road if they swap wins and their rivalry grows from nasty to downright viscous. Amid all the chatter, one other heavyweight prospect was oddly light on tweets Saturday night amid Lewis vs Gane. Jon Jones, arguably the greatest UFC fighter of all time, who has made a very public move up to heavyweight, was short in his offerings: “Great fights tonight.” Jones previously tweeted on August 5, “Champion2022”. However, MMA fans can’t help but wonder if the heavyweight division might be passing him by. White clearly won’t bend when it comes to giving Jones what he wants, a dump truck of cash to make his heavyweight debut, straight into a title fight one must add. Champion2022 — BONY (@JonnyBones) August 4, 2021 Now for the next few weeks or months until we get a fight date for Gane vs Ngannou (Paris please, Covid-19 be damned), all we are going to hear about is Gane vs Ngannou. Jones may try to insert himself into this discussion, but right now he seems like a bit of a third wheel, and the odd man out. He is expected to face the winner, but a lot can happen between now and next year, and White has made it clear, sign on the dotted line, or I will find someone else who will. When White couldn’t get Jones to agree to fight Ngannou for a certain asking price, Jones went public and kicked the UFC’s hornet’s nest. Other fighters got involved and pay equity became one of the issues of 2020. White has the memory of an elephant and you can be sure he is now willing to punish, or simply ignore, Jones for stirring the pot. There is no denying White wants Jones to fight at heavyweight, but he has made it clear: get in line, or stay in line and wait. Jones was offered Miocic, and the previous heavyweight champion reportedly agreed to the fight post-haste. Miocic is looking to crawl his way back into the title fight conversation, and most likely will get a shot at the winner of Gane vs Ngannou if Jones can’t agree to a figure with UFC brass. This is not the ideal scenario for White because many people feel Ngannou slew the Miocic demon and would make quick work of him again, especially if he were coming off a win against Gane. Jones finds himself in a precarious position, little to no bargaining power. He could be heavyweight champion by now, potentially facing Gane, or Ngannou, or Miocic. He’s had ample opportunity and clearly gained enough weight to move up sometime last year. But his contract disputes with White have gotten in the way and now the appetite for Jones making his heavyweight debut has been watered down by a new salivating narrative, a rumble for the ages in Paris. White has long pinned for a heavyweight champion like Ngannou, one with serious marketing power as Miocic was about as blue collar as a red state miner. But White is a deft negotiator, having already shown Ngannou that if he does not defend the belt on his timeline, White will make other plans and continue booking fights. The UFC needs a guy like White in charge. He is the strong head the company needs when you have dozens, if not hundreds, of fighters chomping at the bit to make a name for themselves in the premier MMA outlet. Fighters should know this by now, you can negotiate with him if you have bargaining power, just ask Jorge Masvidal. “Gamebred” got a lovely payday for stepping in to fight Kamaru Usman in July of 2020 on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi when Gilbert Burns was forced to pull out because of Covid-19. But Masvidal’s bargaining chips were short-lived, and he had to cash them immediately, at just the right time, after publicly calling out White, who has surely banked his own fighter’s pay outburst as well. Jones needs to understand this is the reality he lives in, the UFC is White’s world, not his. His best move is to take the Miocic fight and replenish his stock with a resounding win over the former champ, and show the MMA world he can still deliver performances worthy of fight night bonuses.