Francis Ngannou is no longer a member of the UFC roster after negotiations for a new contract between the organisation and the former heavyweight champion fell apart. Ngannou disclosed how much money he would earn if he challenged Jon Jones for the heavyweight championship.
Ngannou appeared on The MMA Hour and spoke to Ariel Helwani. Ngannou was questioned about UFC President Dana White’s assertion that he was given a deal that would have made him the highest-paid heavyweight of all time when he.
“I don’t know, since I don’t know what other heavyweights make. In order to know that, I have to know what the other heavyweights made as their salary, but I don’t know.”
Helwani said that he had heard Brock Lesnar received $8 million for UFC 200. Ngannou replied to that by stating:
“For the Jon Jones fight? Around that.”
Ngannou said that he was unable to accept the offer despite being given a huge salary raise because of his moral convictions. Instead, Jon Jones will compete against Ciryl Gane at UFC 285 for the newly vacant heavyweight belt.
Ngannou’s future plans are still unknown. However, it is possible that he may try boxing. Even if the $8 million compensation would have been difficult to refuse, he will probably earn more if he does compete against a top-tier heavyweight boxer.
Francis Ngannou refuted UFC President Dana White’s assertion that his resignation was motivated by money. Instead, the former heavyweight champion claimed that the promotion’s failure to comply with any of his contract requests was the true cause of his departure.
“No, they said no, they don’t do business like that. They said, yes, I can pay my health insurance and all that. I’m like, yes, I can pay my health insurance. At this point, health insurance for me is not a problem, but how about those guys at the bottom making 10 plus 10. They can’t really afford that health insurance, and I have been there so it’s something that I still carry in my heart.”
While it is admirable that Ngannou tried to advocate for martial artists who were paid less, it is doubtful that his departure will lead to a significant shift in the organization. That probably will only happen if other big names start adopting the same position.