Dana White has a very one note playbook which often comes down to tearing his own guys down. This has worked tremendously for UFC profit margins and the company is stronger than ever with the financial reports detailing UFC spent $32M less on athlete pay than in 2021.
But that’s not even the worst of it – as per Francis Ngannou.
Ngannou made an appearance on the Dan Le Batard show and detailed some of UFC’s infamous benching tactics that basically serve to financially starve the athletes into signing a new contract.
“I had an eight-fight contract and I wanted to fulfill that contract, but they wouldn’t allow me since I wasn’t going to sign another contract because they know that if I fulfill that contract, I’m automatically free,” Ngannou explained.
“They used some kind of dirty game there, freeze me out, they knew how much I was getting per fight. It wasn’t much at all, few pennies. They knew I couldn’t make a living out of it so I had to come back and accept that contract. That was after the Junior dos Santos fight in June 2019. One of the things that was hard about that as well was the pressure they were putting on [me]. I’m just me and they are them. They are massive.”
Ngannou reportedly made just $120,000 to show, $120,000 to win against Junior Dos Santos and his relationship with the promotion has been problematic for years.
“I’ve said this a million times and I’ll say it again,” White said at UFC Long Island’s press conference. “We can’t hold guys hostage. It’s not possible. I owe you three fights a year. If I don’t fight you three times a year, I have to pay you. How could I hold him hostage?”
This is one of the many instances in which White tried to excuse his tactic.
Prior to Ngannou, Nate Diaz also busted this myth.
Furthermore, the McGregor documentary detailed that McGregor was also given the run around in 2020 after a win over Cowboy with the promotion eager to bench him until live audiences were back in play. McGregor ended up forcing UFC’s hand by wanting to do a charity boxing event with Poirier.
Since 2014, Benny A. King has been fully immersed in the world of combat sports. Starting with a blog about Greco Roman wrestling, Benny’s passion for combat sports has led him to explore various disciplines.