Francis Ngannou Reveals How UFC Cost Him $1.2 Million Sponsorship Deal
Francis Ngannou alleges the UFC forced him to leave a lot of money on the table towards the end of his promotional tenure.
Ngannou will face Tyson Fury in his professional boxing debut next month in Saudi Arabia. He returns following a lengthy fighting hiatus and a new MMA organization to call home.
Ngannou opted to split from the UFC earlier this year following a long, often rocky contract dispute. He signed with the PFL in free agency this past spring and is expected to make his league debut in 2024.
Money was never the biggest focus of Ngannou’s contract negotiations with the UFC as he requested flexibility to box, have sponsors, and more. But, the UFC allegedly cost him a fortune just after earning the UFC heavyweight title at UFC 260.
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Francis Ngannou Had A $1.2 Million Crypto Deal “On The Table”
During a recent appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Ngannou accused the UFC of robbing him of a large sum.
“After the Stipe fight, I had a deal on the table with cryptocurrency,” Ngannou said. “I was going to have $1.2 million, which is the money I never had in any fight…then they announced the Crypto.com deal, and they told me ‘You can’t carry this in the Octagon with what we’re trying to push’…
“You’re gonna have to wear it whether you like it or not…I wanted to have my own sponsor, which fighters should be able to have 2-3 sponsors on their deals. I understand we want to make this sport grow, but we can also have a department who checks all the sponsors. There’s a lot of good stuff out there to let fighters to provide and get a little bit more money, and that was another discussion.”
The UFC and Crypto.com solidified their fight kit partnership in July 2021.
Ngannou’s last UFC fight was a lineal heavyweight championship win over Ciryl Gane at UFC 270. He was expected to face Jon Jones next before he and the UFC couldn’t come to terms on a new deal.
Jones went on to win the then-vacant heavyweight belt at UFC 285 and will defend it against Stipe Miocic at UFC 295.
Ngannou’s latest podcast feature exposed some of the alleged events that led to his UFC departure, and he’s expected to make a large sum for the Fury fight. But, the UFC’s business dealings still bother Ngannou as he prepares for his first boxing match.
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