Aside from a monumental heavyweight title defense by Francis Ngannou (17-3) and Deiveson Figueiredo (21-2) becoming a two-time flyweight champion, a major story coming out of Saturday night’s event was the fact that UFC president Dana White was MIA when it came time to award the heavyweight title to “The Predator,” and from his traditional post-fight scrum with MMA media following the event.
The promotional boss and the organization have been mum about his absence, and Ngannou also had no idea why his employer no-showed the card’s finale and the post-fight presser. The assumption by many in the media and in the UFC fan base is that White’s disappearance has to do with the organization’s current contract dispute with their reigning heavyweight king.
Two former UFC champs sympathize with Ngannou’s current position in the UFC
Ngannou has fulfilled the obligations of the six-fight deal he signed in 2016. However, as a champion, a clause in his contract extends the pact another twelve months and up to three more fights. However, Ngannou has made it clear he has no interest in competing again under the current terms of the deal. This is also far from the first time current and former champions have had issues with the promotion during their run in the organization.
Former UFC champions Tyron Woodley and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson sympathized with Ngannou’s current position on an Instagram video post from MMA journalist Ariel Helwani, of the Ngannou answering questions about White’s absence. Both had disputes with the organization during their UFC runs, both feeling they were deserving of pay increases as top stars and champions.
“That’s f*cked up, they take it personal when a fighter wants to get paid what he’s worth,” Jackson wrote in his comment. “T-Wood” added in a separate comment, “Seen this before.”
Mark Hunt tears into UFC’s treatment of Ngannou following UFC 270
However, those brief thoughts were surpassed by former UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt — a man never shy about bashing the promotion and their leader. The 18-fight Octagon veteran, who is in the middle of an ongoing lawsuit with the organization, also commented in the post by slamming the UFC for how they have paid their champion, and that Ngannou should fight for what he feels he deserves. Ngannou’s base pay at UFC 270, before pay-per-view points and any roster bonuses, was $600,000.
“And now they will put Francis at the back of the bus 🚌 and turn on him like they do every other fighter that speaks up I hope he doesn’t sign again until they pay him his dues,” Hunt wrote. “He was getting ripped off royally like every other fighter in that company world heavyweight champion getting 5-600k USD my last fight with this company 5 -6 years ago I got 950 k usd and I never had the belt 5 years ago and the reason I was getting that was because I always spoke up and told them they need to pay.
“They are not your friends and u don’t need brown-nosing management to rip u off get what your worth @francisngannou don’t live on your knees your a fighter in and out of the octagon when your the heavyweight champion of the world NO should not be in your vocab anymore I guess it must be jus the UFC heavyweight title worthless and unworthy of your time and blood. 😂😂😂😂😂😂”
Ngannou has won six straight and successfully defended his title for the first time against Ciryl Gane this past weekend.
What are your thoughts on the current contract dispute between the heavyweight king and the UFC?