“I Don’t Feel Like I’ve Been Treated Good” | UFC Heavyweight Champ Francis Ngannou Beats Ciryl Gane And Chin Checks The UFC

Image Credit: Twitter @ufc screen shot

Last night, UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou defeated previously undefeated interim champion and former teammate Ciryl Gane.

Ngannou (17-3) used a wrestling-heavy game plan to earn a unanimous decision victory over Gane. With the win, Ngannou defended his UFC heavyweight title in Saturday’s main event in Anaheim, Calif.

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And Still

While two of the three judges saw Gane (10-1) take the first two rounds, all three saw Ngannou take the last three, clinching the fight for him. However, now the biggest battle of his professional combat sports career begins, against the UFC.

For months now, Ngannou has expressed his frustrations with the UFC. The Cameroonian fighter has been at odds with the organization for what he feels is a difference of opinion.

In short, Ngannou doesn’t think the UFC is fair with his career terms. Ngannou made $600,000 for the win. He also pocketed his UFC Promotional Guidelines Compliance pay.

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Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems

The program replaced the previous UFC Athlete Outfitting Policy payments and is now a comprehensive plan that includes outfitting requirements, media obligations, and other items under the fighter code of conduct. Ngannou made the max $42,000 extra for that.

However, according to the 35-year-old, his gripes are not all about the payouts.

“It’s not simply money,” Ngannou said at the UFC 270 post-fight press conference. “Obviously, money is a part of it, but it’s also the terms of the contract that I don’t agree with.

“I don’t feel like it’s fair. I don’t feel like I’m a free man. I don’t feel like I’ve been treated good. It’s unfortunate that I have to be in this position, that I have to say that. I feel like everyone should have the right to claim for what’s best for them. At the end of the day, we put a lot of work for this job and we take a lot on our body to make it happen, so we can have a fair and square deal.”

Company Face-Off

The fight was the last on Ngannou’s UFC contract. As the reigning champion with a title-defending win as his final fight, Ngannou feels he has the leverage to get the best terms moving forward.

However, since he is still the champion, it activated a championship clause in his contract that extends his obligations to the UFC for another three fights.

According to Ngannou and his team, the contract is three fights or one year, a standard practice in the mixed martial arts industry. “The Predator” would either have to fight three more times as the champion or wait out a year for a full expiration of the deal. His promotional value could sink at that time.

Hurry Up And Wait

“In the past three years I have fought three times, so what does that mean? Once a year,” Ngannou said. “It wouldn’t be something strange. I’m not frustrated about anything, I’m at peace with my decision.”

The company could implant another interim title scenario to erase his championship tenure if he decided to leave the organization after that year. Ngannou confirmed he is willing to wait on the sidelines for his contract to expire if his issues aren’t addressed.


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Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.