Francis Ngannou is arguably one of the biggest MMA stars of today. He opted to leave UFC after a failed negotiation and is considering his options including Bellator, Bare Knuckle FC, and two rumored boxing bouts against serious names.
Ngannou still left plenty out ‘on the table’ because his UFC contract would’ve amounted to roughly $8 million.
Due to Francis Ngannou parting ways with the UFC, fans were unable to see the much-anticipated matchup between Ngannou and two-time light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. At UFC 285, Jones will now face Ciryl Gane for the vacant heavyweight title.
UFC has made an effort to promote the idea that Francis Ngannou turned down offers in favor of ‘easier opportunities’ outside of the UFC.
But what many don’t realize is that UFC paychecks jump off of a cliff once you’re no longer the champion. UFC champions typically get a percentage of the PPV and that’s where the real money is for the large majority of them. This means that Ngannou’s ‘highest paid heavyweight’ in history UFC offer was just a potential payday as opposed to a guaranteed one.
Ngannou’s coach Eric Nicksick recently shed some light on what would’ve happened had Ngannou actually lost to Jon Jones.
Nicksick said in an interview with John Eric Poli of MyMMANews:
“I don’t know enough about these contracts to make an accurate comment about that. I just know when it came to my guy, those were things that he was worried about. He was like, ‘Man, if I lose this fight [against Jones], I lose all my protection,’ the numbers would drastically drop.”
“Yes, he was going to get paid great money to fight Jon Jones…. but that was the next question. What happens if you were to lose, he’s back down to the bottom again. The number for him and the number that they gave didn’t seem fair. Didn’t make sense.”
Tyson Fury addressed recent events and a possible matchup with Ngannou in an interview with Seconds Out:
“Francis Ngannou, I know you’re out of contract with the UFC. You want to earn some big boy money? Come and see ‘The Gypsy King’ and let’s do a big, big fight for the baddest MF on the planet. Let’s kick it up, spicy, in a cage, four-ounce gloves, under Queensberry, and let’s have a badass referee like ‘Iron Mike’ Tyson. Oh, did I just sell that to the world?’”
And Fury isn’t the only one, there’s also interest from Misfits for Derek Chisora, as well as other promotions.