Francis Ngannou says he has walked away from a ton of money due to his dispute with the UFC.
Ngannou is the reigning UFC Heavyweight Champion. He had what may go down as the most important fight of his pro MMA career at UFC 270. “The Predator” walked into his title unification bout against Ciryl Gane on the last fight of his UFC deal.
Had he lost to Gane, he’d be a free agent. Instead, Ngannou used his grappling to defeat Gane and now the champion’s clause is in effect for three more fights.
Francis Ngannou Walked Away From Millions
“I’ve been leaving a lot of money on the table, even since the Stipe (Miocic) fight. By now I might be down at least $7 million that I left on the table. I’m still happy with my $600,000 because I stood to fight for what I work for. Freedom doesn’t work with money. You give up one for one, whether you want freedom or whether you want money. You give up one to gain one.”
Ngannou knew that his clash with Gane meant more than your average title fight.
“This wasn’t just a fight, I was not just fighting in the Octagon, I was fighting for everything I stand for. It was way more beyond the fight, it was for my principles, for things that I believe in. That was the reason why I was fighting. Even when they were trying to reach out for a deal they came out with a good amount of money. I’m like, ‘At this point it doesn’t even matter.’ I left that all on the table. I don’t even care. I’m taking my six-hundred thousand, I’m going there, doing this, and I’m winning everything.”
Ngannou has said that he feels UFC contracts don’t provide the freedom he’s looking for. By that, he means the deals are quite restrictive despite the fact that he’s labeled as an independent contractor.