The situation around Francis Ngannou has been receiving a tremendous amount of attention. Ngannou is the lineal heavyweight champion – and is by all means undisputed unlike Jon Jones who won the title against Cyril Gane after UFC parted ways with Ngannou.
Despite the breakdown of negotiations Ngannou seemed to be thankful to the UFC for the platform they provided and eager to cash in on it. His negotiated boxing debut is estimated to bring him between $20 and $30 million dollars.
On top of that, he’s fielding other multimillion dollar offers. ONE FC recently dropped out of the race to sign Ngannou after he verbally committed to PFL.
They’ve since revealed they were offering $20M to him. This might seem like an outrageous sum but considering the publicity they’ve received this week alone for trickling details about their negotiations it’s not exactly surprising.
The last champion to leave the UFC and become a free agent was BJ Penn in 2004. Sometime after that Georges St Pierre was in a similar position which he leveraged to get one of the biggest contracts in MMA.
GSP was quoted saying he made between 4 and 5 million per PPV event back in 2011.
Yet, Ngannou’s disclosed pay for his last UFC bout was just $600,000 back in 2022.
After ONE FC dropped out of Ngannou negotiations, a fraction of UFC’s fan base questioned Ngannou’s decision to leave UFC to begin with. His head coach Erick Nicksick provided some interesting insights.
UFC claimed they made an $8 million offer to Ngannou, but that too might’ve been a bit overblown in terms of specifics. What Ngannou was offered, was a contract that was structured in a way that he would earn $8M if he won all of the bouts on the contract, including the one against Jon Jones.
Ngannou’s headcoach Eric Nicksick recently confirmed:
Nicksick went on to provide some interesting information:
“Absolutely, still a lot of money, I agree. But, think about this, when Francis KO’d Overeem, Overeem was making $800,000 flat, and that was 2017. What if that non title fight for Francis was for a million, do you think that pay would be fair in comparison?”
But it’s definitely not a dire situation for Ngannou. MMA journalist who made his name analyzing the financials went on to reply to Nicksick hinting that Ngannou’s pending PFL deal is massive even compared to these offers.
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.