Francis Ngannou Skirts UFC Rules To Secure Big Sponsorship

Francis Ngannou has been a vocal advocate for fighter pay.  The 35 year old Cameroonian fighter has been hoping to become a free agent in order to have negotiating power with the UFC – and according to his own statement he would like to have an option to box.

Now the UFC has draconic contracts that in theory can be extended in perpetuity. However ever since the class action against them has been receiving attention they’ve become less likely to exercise some of the extension clauses.

Now the UFC has secured a number of sponsorships – sponsorships that are paid to the UFC and fighters effectively don’t make money on. There’s which paid an estimated $175 million to be prominently featured on the uniform.

But in spite of all this – Francis Ngannou managed to score a big personal sponsor. According to a report from Ariel Helwani Ngannou will be wearing a timepiece from Jacob & Co. during weigh ins. The watch in question is Epix X Chrono and it retails for $50k.

There was an immediate backlash against this report when it was posted.


Helwani fired back at Askren.

Because it’s basically an extra promotional post but it’s also very significant. We’ll let Helwani explain it:

“Why report this, newbs? Because in the uniform era it’s virtually impossible to cut your own deal while doing official UFC stuff. So it’s quite significant, especially considering Ngannou’s contract situation. Perhaps better days ahead.”