Aljamain Sterling blames crab mentality for issues with UFC pay, questions Ngannou’s choices

Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has hinted at the end of his free agency journey by teasing an upcoming announcement scheduled for Tuesday, May 16.

Reigning bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling recently shared his thoughts on Ngannou’s free agency situation. In an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Sterling questioned Ngannou’s reported decision to turn down a $20 million offer from ONE Championship.

Sterling proposed an alternative approach, suggesting that Ngannou could consider building his own organization like Floyd Mayweather. In that manner, he could offer more avenues for combatants to compete and showcase their skills.

By doing so, Ngannou could enjoy greater control and decide on terms in such a way that would attract up-and-coming talents. He could ultimately help in establishing an amazing combat sports organization.

“Why not take the money and almost take like a Floyd Mayweather approach and build your own organization and have another avenue of competition for the fighters to go somewhere and compete, to showcase their skills, where you can now dictate and control, because if you’re doing this in such a favorable way, it’s easily going to attract up and comers to the point where it can start to become a premier organization.”

Sterling further highlighted the tendency for people to rush into judgments regarding Ngannou’s departure from the UFC. He noted that competitors often become their own obstacles, which is why a union for competitors is unlikely to materialize.

Sterling also shared his personal experiences of facing criticism during his training sessions, emphasizing the negative environment in the industry.

He said: “Fighters can be their own biggest downfall. This is why there will never be a union. You can hate me all you want, but it’s some crab in the barrel motherf**kers.”

“I was training down in Vegas. I had people talking s**t about me behind my back with the first Yan fight. People I’ve trained with, people’s a**es I’ve kicked in the gym. I can only imagine for him the stuff people are saying behind closed doors. For me, I hope to see Francis win.”

In the day since Sterling’s interview aired it’s been announced that Ngannou signed a lucrative deal with the PFL.