Francis Ngannou says UFC played “dirty games” to keep him under contract, reveals shocking pay before he became champ
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Francis Ngannou believes the UFC used dirty tactics to keep him under contract for longer than he wanted.
Ngannou and the UFC first had contract disputes long before he was a champion as he was vocal about wanting to fight out his deal so he could go to free agency. However, Ngannou claims the UFC never offered him fights – despite what Dana White said – and kept him on the shelf hoping he would need the money and eventually sign a new deal.
“What I was asking at first is can I have a fight? I had an eight-fight contract and I wanted to fulfill that contract. But, they wouldn’t allow me because I wasn’t going to sign another contract,” Ngannou said on the Dan Le Batard Show. “They knew if I fulfilled that contract I am automatically free. They used some dirty game there to freeze me out, they knew how much I was getting which wasn’t much at all, just a few pennies, so they knew to make a living out of it, I had to come back and accept those contracts. That was after the Junior dos Santos contract which was in June of 2019. Then, it was almost one year after that I had a fight…
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“My contract was exclusive so I didn’t have any other revenue and they were holding me captive to that,” Ngannou continued. “They were trying to act like I wanted more money, I didn’t want more money. If it was about more money I would have signed the contract because it was more money and more and more and more by the time I was at the end.”
Although Francis Ngannou didn’t sign a new deal, he believes his pay didn’t line up with his star power. He had signed his contract well before he became the champ, but for his run that included headlining events against the likes of Curtis Blaydes, Junior dos Santos, and Cain Velasquez, he was only making $100k per fight.
“100, 120 (thousand),” Ngannou said of how much he made per fight.
Of course, once Ngannou became the champion he made more money as his contract turned into a champion one. Yet, in his fights against Lewis, dos Santos, Velasquez, Blaydes, and Rozenstruik, Ngannou was only making $100,000 which is why he wanted to fight out that contract.
In the end, Ngannnou was able to fight out of his deal and recently signed with the PFL where he is expected to debut in 2024.
What do you make of Francis Ngannou only making $100k?